Have you ever heard someone say "Oh my gosh - that was so satisfying to watch" or better yet, have you ever experienced a warm tingle down your spine - kind of like goose bumps?
If you have, then you have experienced ASMR.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and has been recently become quite popular.
On YouTube there are millions of videos about it, and you may have even seen people in these videos either whispering or making soft light repetitive sounds that are pleasing to the senses, such as tapping or scratching a surface.
People who experience ASMR will say that they feel a light prickly or tingling sensation on their head, back of their neck or sometimes other parts of their body. For me personally, I feel it mostly in my upper arms. The experience of ASMR brings about feelings of happiness, positivity and peace.
There are two sensations brought about by ASMR:
Physical sensations which include chills, tingles, prickles and goose bumps.
Psychological sensations which include feelings of relaxation, calmness and even sleepiness.
ASMR is unfortunately not scientifically proven as of yet, and there is not much research on it either. In fact, only one study has been done on it to date, so all we have to go on is individuals swearing by using it to help them relieve their stress and just helping them to feel happy and more euphoric in general.
Examples of ASMR: (not limited to)
- A soft voice
- A song
- Having your hair played with
- Water being poured into a cup
- Fingers lightly scratching a surface
- Being touched on your skin
- Watching and hearing someone play with slime
- Paper crumpling or a packet being crinkled
- Food being cooked - the sight of the food and the sounds of the cooking
- Tapping sounds
There are so many ways that an AMSR reaction could be triggered in someone, but those are a few of the more common ones.
The sad thing about ASMR is not everyone can actually feel it.
Some people have reported feeling it throughout their lives, and when first finding out about AMSR, they knew immediately what it was, they could relate to it, feeling happy that there was now a name to put to the sensations they were feeling.
If you are one of these people who hasn't felt it, don't despair - it could still happen for you.
I recommend watching one of the many ASMR videos on YouTube.
They range from people whispering, to making deliberate noises like soft cracking noises, and paper scrunching. Some people even get an ASMR response from watching recipe videos where they can hear the packets being opened and the oil frying.
My favourite ones are the slime videos - they are extremely satisfying!
Since ASMR brings about feelings of calm and happiness, it is no surprise that it would be amazing for anxiety sufferers.
ASMR has been said to help with Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Mood, and even improved blood flow and digestion.
It may take a while for you to find what triggers your ASMR, but once you have found it, you can use it as and when you need to.
If you enjoy meditation and find visualization easy, you could even incorporate ASMR into this practice by either listening to an ASMR sound that you like or else purely visualizing something which brings on the sensations of ASMR.
Please read through the following links for a better understanding and please watch the numerous videos available on YouTube to find your perfect ASMR triggers!
Bad Days - We all hate them, but we all have them. It's just a part of life.
I had one very recently, last Monday to be exact.
I felt horrible, looked horrible, and felt as though my life was heading toward a downward spiral.
Every little thing that happened that day seemed a huge catastrophe, as far as I was concerned, and going out to the shops was a nightmare for me, as my social anxiety seemed worse than ever!
That evening, I just broke down.
After I had cried, I managed to gather my composure, put my big girl panties on (so to speak) and pondered what had happened that day. I also realised that being the anxious person I am, that the days events would no doubt make me feel like that the next day, and the next and the next, and unless I, myself decided to step in and do something about it, I knew my anxiety and bad mood would be with me for quite a few days, risking an anxiety relapse.
Oh the joys of being an anxiety sufferer....
Fortunately for me, throughout and currently still while in recovery from anxiety disorder, I have managed to learn that anxiety can indeed be controlled before it gets out of hand. However the trick comes in, in finding the strength to overpower it when you are in a negative space already!
But these are all things I have learned and continue to still learn, and I want to share them with you as well. Below I have listed 6 ways that I help myself out of a negative space.
Before you try out the tips below, it is important to remember that you should always know and understand why you had a bad day. Ask your self 'Did I wake up feeling negative, or did something happen during the day that shifted my mood from positive to negative / happy to sad?
Once you have established that, then you can concentrate on getting your 'punch' back.
These following tips are the exact ones that I used to help me get back my positivity and push away anxious symptoms from purely having a bad day:
1) Force a Smile - even a fake one will do the trick!
Even if you have to fake it, just smile!
Even if you alone, just smile at the wall if you have to.
It sounds a bit strange but just give it a try, and you'll feel instantly better. This is because neurotransmitters (endorphins) are released when we smile, helping us feel calmer and happier. Bear in mind that when you are in a more relaxed state, cortisol is also greatly reduced. Cortisol is a stress hormone.
2) Watch something funny
For more or less the same reasons above, laughing at a funny show or movie will really get you into a feel good mood, and can help a lot to get rid of stress and anxiety.
3) Listen to a motivational YouTube video
YouTube is overflowing with these types of videos, and they range from 3 minutes to over an hour long. When I feel really deflated, I put one of these on, and it really does help to inspire me.
4) Meditation for believing in yourself
I highly recommend taking some time out and doing a meditation specifically aimed at helping you to believe in yourself again. 'Letting go' meditations and general stress meditations are also good, but if you feeling uninspired and have self doubt, then focus on a 'believing in yourself' or 'self doubt' meditation. If you not really into doing meditations, then I still recommend just listening to one, and paying attention to the words.
5) Think about someone who has overcome the impossible
I have two people who really inspire me and when I feel down and out, I think of these two people and why they inspire and motivate me. I think about what they have been through and how they never gave up. I can honestly say it really does help me to get back on track.
6) Leave it for a day and come back to it
Often we have our down days because we have been working too hard or pushing too hard, and it's our bodies way of telling us that we need to slow down a bit.
There is absolutely no shame in taking a day for yourself during times like this, and practising a bit of self care. You are no use to yourself or anyone else if you are in a negative frame of mind, and if anything, you'll come back feeling more refreshed and motivated than before.