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Is ASMR Effective In College

College life can be a stressful time for many people. Each student handles their stress differently. Some meditate, others binge-watch movies while there are those who engage themselves in various physical activities. Now, if you have been browsing your Youtube account, you may have come across videos entitled ASMR. 

What is ASMR?

Short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is a new form of relaxation wherein you experience a tingling sensation that starts from your scalp down through your spine all the way to your limbs. It is achieved through an audible stimulus such as scratching or whispering and some visual triggers. 

According to a study conducted by the University of Sheffield back in 2018, you can get physical and mental health benefits from ASMR. The research shows that it can reduce the heart rate and decrease the stress level of whoever is listening. 

How Do You Experience ASMR? 

Experiencing the effects of ASMR is not limited to Youtube videos. You can also feel the same tingling experience from everyday things such as hearing someone whisper, the sound of the hair clipper during a haircut, or even something as simple as stroking a purring cat. 

Triggers vary from one person to another, and sometimes it also produces a different response. Some are more effective in lowering anxiety than others.  Having said that, let us now look at the different types of triggers.

Sound Based Triggers

As the name suggests, these triggers are achieved by creating certain sounds that make the listener feel less anxious and calmer. Some examples are whispering, tapping, page-turning, creating crisp sounds such as paper crumpling, the sound of a pencil scratching a paper, and more.

Visual Triggers

If there are audio triggers, then there are visual triggers. Some examples are stroking a pet, folding clothes perfectly, making slow hand gestures, brush strokes, hair brushing, and paint mixing.

Unfortunately, ASMR is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are cases wherein the effects of ASMR are the opposite. Some people feel unsettled and confused when being confronted by these ASMR videos. Some even suggest that their anxiety became worse.

It is possible that these people suffer from another phenomenon that is not fully understood yet, which is Misophonia.

Misophonia is a condition in which certain individuals experience intense feelings such as disgust and anger when they are confronted with sounds made by other people. This could explain why others feel differently towards ASMR, but it has yet to be scientifically proven.

So now that we understand what ASMR is, let’s talk about how college students can benefit from this?

Relieves Negative Moods

Based on research conducted in 2015, it is found out that there are people who experience a decrease in negative feelings such as depression and anxiety. 

College students are susceptible to these as they are bombarded with multiple stressors. It could be from being away from home to their inability to cope up with the stress brought about by college life. Listening to ASMR videos can help minimize or eliminate those feelings.

Helps Students Get To Sleep

Listening to these videos corrects any sleeping disorder a student is suffering. It is common for college students to have sleeping problems since they tend to stay up late in order to accomplish all the tasks. 

Lack of proper sleep can trigger a lot of serious health conditions such as insomnia. Studies show that ASMR videos help the viewer relax, which in turn allows them to sleep.

Even though there are several research conducted about ASMR, there are still many things that we don’t know about it. Further studies might be able to explain the different effects ASMR has on people. Getting the answer to this can lead to the possibility of using ASMR as a form of therapy.

Going back to the question, is ASMR effective in college? Yes, if you are one of those people who experience the sensation of ASMR. As a good stress reliever, college students would benefit from the positive effects of listening to ASMR, given the stressful environment they have. If you plan on trying it out, it is best to find the right trigger that would work on you.

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