What’s the best way to get someone’s attention? Whisper! And that’s what Zoe Kravitz does in the new ASMR ad for Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold. She whispers, taps, does slow hand movements, and gets your attention. Many people claim ASMR helps depression and anxiety. But, does it really?
In a 2018 study published in PLOS One on autonomous sensory meridian response (AKA ASMR) says that it’s good for your mental health. Basically, the warm and tingling sensation that starts at the crown if the head and spreads down the body is experienced by some people and gives them brain tingles accompanied by feelings of calm and relaxation.
Most commercials have heightened noise and can upset people and science backs this response is actually very common. That’s why many people opt for ad-free TV. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that “Being frequently yelled at changes the mind, brain, and body in a multitude of ways including increasing the activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain), increasing stress hormones in the blood stream, increasing muscular tension, and more.”
Conversely, ASMR can reduce your heart rate and promotes feelings of extreme relaxation for some people. This is based on another study by researchers at the University of Sheffield in England. The study also concluded that reductions in heart rate experienced by ASMR participants was comparable to anti-stress techniques of music and mindfulness.
Lily Brown, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania has stated that ASMR can provide short term relief for anxiety and depression. Dr. Brown said that the videos could actually be part of a patient’s treatment.
Head over to YouTube—there are over 11 million ASMR videos to help you fall asleep and/or calm down after a stressful day. They have everything from Lady Gaga doing ASMR meditation to relaxation practice Gibi ASMR. Spotify has relaxation practices that you can listen to.
We live in a time of mental stress that can be overwhelming. ASMR is a great option that’s accessible, free and safe. It provides a safe place and platonic intimacy. ASMR has something for everyone from a body buzz to brain tingles to relaxation. Some people experience it more deeply than others but it’s worth a try.
This article originally appeared on Bustle. Head over to https://www.bustle.com/p/does-asmr-affect-mental-health-heres-what-the-research-shows-15942623 to check it out.