Sometimes I feel entangled in my thoughts and have a tough time unwinding. Lots of input from the outside often generates knots on my inside. Wish I could be transported to the ocean where I always find tranquility, but I can’t always get away.
Then I discovered ASMR online, an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It consists of videos with repetitive quiet sounds like rain, soap carving, pencil drawing, slime crunching. I find it soothing and relaxing (and a little weird) but it’s always available.
I discovered that, for me it just takes a few minutes, and my boiling mind settles to a simmer. These videos are extremely popular, some have millions of views. But statistics aren’t indicative of a good fit for everyone. If the repetitive sound of a pen clicking or nails tapping annoys you, this might not appeal. An alternative to ASMR is a gentle, online guided relaxation Drifting Downstream created and spoken by Psychologist Kimeron Hardin PhD, free on YouTube
Back to the ASMR videos. They focus my mind on one sound and/or visual at a time such as rain on a windowpane, water being poured into a cup of tea, fingernails tapping on glass, crunching on a popsicle, whispering. The idea might appear to be a little bizarre but the effects are quickly evident for me. Even if I watch and listen briefly, it almost immediately calms my thoughts.
ASMR reminds me of meditation or the gentle, captivating sounds and images of the Japanese tea ceremony Chanoyu (an art form and a spiritual discipline) performed at Philadelphia’s Shofusu Japanese Cultural Center. Both practices calm the mind through one pointed focus, helping to slow down the input from the external environment and soothe internal thoughts. Instead of the visual and audio assault I experience on occasion, these ASMR videos provide an instant vacation for my mind and body without leaving home.
Calm and relaxed,