If you don't already know by now, ASMR stands for "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response." What is that, though? Well, it's a little difficult to truly define the feeling of ASMR.
The best way to describe it is if you actually feel it yourself, which I'm sure you have already–you just might not know it. Essentially, ASMR is the feeling you get when someone is whispering in your ear, brushing your hair, or silently giving you a massage. Those little tingles on the crown of your head, down your spine, or down your arms is the response called "ASMR" from the initial "trigger" that made it occur.
Now, what's a trigger? It's basically a visual motion (like someone delicately waving their hands in front of you), the sound of flipping of a crisp page in a magazine, a brush slowly dragging through your hair, or delicate tapping on a bottle that makes you feel these "tingles" in your body and gives you an incredible sense of relaxation.
ASMR has built a large community over the years, and it's now becoming very popular on YouTube with different "ASMRtists" (artists in ASMR) that upload videos with an array of triggers included to give their viewers this ASMR response–specifically to help them sleep. However, ASMR is not only used to help others fall asleep. Although falling asleep is the most popular way to utilize ASMR, it can also be used for stress-reduction and general relaxation.
After a long, stressful day at work, all you want is to sit down and relax. Instead of reaching for the TV remote, you can grab a pair of headphones and indulge in soothing sounds that will help you unwind. Some like ASMR because it helps with their anxiety on a day-to-day basis, while others enjoy the experience simply because it just feels good.
After being an avid listener of ASMR for about a year or so, I've found that there are a lot of assumptions about ASMR–specifically stating that it's some kind of "weird sexual fetish." And honestly, I think that would turn anyone off to it who wasn't fully educated on the subject. It may sound a bit weird when explaining exactly what ASMR is, but by no means is it something "sexual." Some videos include whispering, but that doesn't make it sexual either. Yes, whispering is intimate, but I think that's why it's so comforting and relaxing to hear someone whisper. It's a sign that they're close to you.
So next time you feel stressed, or you're having trouble falling asleep, or you just want to experience a bit of serenity, try searching for some ASMR videos on YouTube. It's important to find the best triggers for you, too! And if you wind up not liking it, that's okay. It's not for everyone, but you can't knock it until you try it!