WTF is ASMR? Can It Help With Anxiety?

Just like lots of people with anxiety, I have often turned to the internet in search of ways to help sooth a jumpy mind. A mind that can sometimes feel like it’s wired up to an electric current on maximum voltage… So less than ideal. Amongst the advice handed out by fellow bloggers, meditation guides and yoga videos, there’s a unique corner of the internet, specifically on YouTube, that’s home to what is known as ASMR. I really don’t know how many of you lovely readers will have heard of this before – so I will assume it is uncharted territory and start from the logical beginning – what in the world is ASMR?!

What is ASMR?

ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is, simply put, a relaxing sensation often felt in the head, neck and sometimes limbs caused by visual and/or auditory stimulus. Not everyone feels it but those that do, including me, normally describe it as a tingling feeling that can make you feel incredibly relaxed and sleepy. It’s kind of like having a static balloon held to the back of your neck making all the little hairs stand on end.

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Why and How to Wake Up Early

Throughout April I set myself a challenge: to get up before 8am every single day. I know, I live a crazy life. I have accomplished this on all but one day, the morning after I got home late from a concert. That’s a pretty high success rate I think! But what is the point of all of this? And more importantly, should you sacrifice your lie-ins?

I’ve been quite an early riser for much of my life really; I’ve only been on the other side of the school system for a couple of years, so early starts are all I’ve really known for the majority of my own lived experience. Even on the weekends though I was never too late up, and I never had that typical ‘teen’ phase of sleeping in past 12 on a Sunday.

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However, even though I never really stayed in bed for too long each day, I was starting to feel like the morning itself was controlling me and dictating my mood for the rest of the day, rather than me taking charge of the time in a way that suits me. This was the moment I realised: getting up early every day isn’t important in isolation, the positive impacts of this action are found in the detail, or rather, inserted into the phrase. It is important to get up early at a similar time each day.

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