ASMR for Anxiety – Techniques That Work

Published: November 18, 2022

The number of people going through anxiety is increasing by the day. Mental illnesses have become fairly common especially due to the rising pressure and stress. From a very young age to an old person, one can experience the feeling of anxiety. As typical as it has become, the pattern remains undiagnosed. This means you may experience anxiety for no reason at all. Specialists have come up with ASMR as a method to calm anxiousness.

There are several methods to lower anxiety – medications, psychotherapy, exercising regularly, meditation, certain fragrances, particular food items, etc. However, ASMR is a very different method from all these remedies and any individual can do it at home.

What is ASMR?

What is ASMR?
via VOX

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or ASMR is a phenomenon that creates a tingling sensation throughout the body. It consists of audio/verbal and visual triggers that have the ability to stimulate the tingling sensation. Whispering, observing or listening to a brush stroke, fingernail tapping, water spraying, and crisp sounds, are ASMR trigger types.

Don’t think that ASMR alone helps with anxiety. No! It also helps with pain relief, panic, improving sleep, stress, depression, etc. While the research is still going on about ASMR, whatever data specialists have is enough to ensure its effectiveness of it. It is to note that this method may or may not help everyone suffering from anxiety. We are all different and our bodies adapt and respond to the methods it feels is suitable for us. So, don’t be stressed if ASMR doesn’t work for you.

However, it’s also true that you need to find your own triggers. For some people, certain sounds seem more calming than visuals while the opposite can be true for others. So you need to decide what works best for you to calm your anxiety.

SEE ALSO: ‘Just Stop Worrying’ Is Not a Solution for Anxiety

3 ASMR Techniques That Work 100%

If you have found your triggers whether visual or audio, then you need to learn how to use them correctly. You have to be patient for it to work. Don’t expect miracles the first time or within a few minutes. You need to devote your time, patience, and willingness to it. Let ASMR make its foray into your wellness.

ASMR includes three main techniques – audio, visual, and breathing methods.

Audio Technique – Whispering and EFT Tapping

Audio Technique - Whispering and EFT Tapping

Loud music or sounds can instead trigger your anxiety increasing the heart rate quickly. But whispering sounds of gratitude and affirmations can do wonders. You can either play a youtube video or listen to a special ASMR podcast with comfortable pillow-friendly headphones. Switch off the lights, lie down, tuck yourself in, and let the sounds do their job.

EFT is a technique where you tap the acupuncture points of your face in order to calm yourself and process the PTSD or anxiety. Keep breathing and observe the pattern and sounds. Think about what makes you most anxious and let it feel in the forefront.

Start tapping with force there with the number of fingers you are comfortable with. Move at the end of your eye and then under it. Keep tapping under the nose, chin, and then finally the collarbone. Keep repeating the movements for a while until you feel better. Assing your anxiousness on a scale of 0-10 before and after performing this technique.

Similarly, you can hear fingernail tapping sounds or brushes stroking. blowing, scratching, pages flapping, writing, water, forest sounds, etc, are some sounds you can experiment with.

SEE ALSO: Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me On Apple TV+

Visual Technique

Visual Technique
via Tingly ASMR

Watching something that feels calm on the nerves can slowly reduce the anxiousness as your mind is diverted to the soothing repetition of it. This can also include light ASMR where you look at the light and observe it. Maybe it’s the rays entering your window or an eye torch. It’s all about how you let your mind observe the light and feel the calming, almost dozing-off feeling.

Other visuals include squishing and swirling slime, stroking a pet, sand cutting, painting or paint mixing, miniature ASMR, and even certain hand gestures, and color swatching. All these techniques can be extremely soothing whether or not you are trying ASMR in particular.

While people battling anxiety prefer keeping their distance, some physical techniques can be more effective than you think. Watching the caressing of hair or having different tools brush the hair instantly relaxes the person and stimulates the tingling sensation. It is called hair play ASMR. Other than that watching ear brushing where any small brush brushes against the ear also help.

Breathing Technique

Breathing Technique
via Tune Up Fitness

Although the breathing technique is not an ASMR technique per se but the audio and visual techniques require you to focus on your breathing pattern. There are 3 simple ways you can try that can make you calmer and your ASMR more effective.

The first breathing method is the 478 – breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and release for 8 seconds. It’s no hard and fast rule to follow the number. Let your body decide what is more comfortable for you.

The next technique is to blow on your thumb where you make a fist with a thumbs up and blow on it. It will help you relax better and focus only on your breath. The third method you can use is simply to blow in the hole created by your fist. It may seem like you are blowing into a paper bag.

SEE ALSO: The Neurodivergence Rainbow

Things To Keep In Mind About The ASMR

Things To Keep In Mind About The ASMR
via Smart Nora

Again, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight that ASMR may not work for every person with anxiety. It may help you ease pain or stimulate sleep, but it may not help you with your anxiety. In case, you still want to proceed and give it another try, proceed with caution. The reason behind this is while all these ASMR techniques are effective, for some they can trigger anxiety like light ASMR.

You need to understand that it’s a temporary solution only. If you have something in your mind or have been through trauma, seeking therapy or medications are professional methods you can rely on. ASMR may not be the right choice at that time no matter how soothing it may seem in the beginning.

If you are comfortable trying ASMR or it’s working well for you, make sure you have created the right environment for yourself. Put your phone on DND mode, switch off the lights, relax, be in your comfort zone and then begin with the ASMR techniques.

There are popular youtube channels specifically for ASMR like Sarah Lavender ASMR, ASMR Darling, Gentle Whispering ASMR, WhispersRed ASMR, and more. The ASMR Podcast, Multi ASMR, LazyMiu ASMR, Sleep and Relax ASMR are some podcasts also worth a try.

Please seek professional help in case your anxiety is worsening. Talking or sharing with someone responsible and professional helps a lot. Tell us in the comments below if you have tried ASMR.


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