Experience ASMR Journaling for Relaxation and Stress Relief

By Justine Paris

ASMR journaling has recently gained attention as a unique approach to relaxation and stress relief. This practice combines the soothing effects of ASMR triggers with the reflective benefits of journaling, creating an immersive experience for individuals seeking tranquility in their daily lives. This blog post will investigate the science of ASMR and its possible therapeutic applications, including an analysis of neuroticism, state anxiety, trait anxiety in those with ASMR experiences; plus brain imaging data comparison between those who can experience it and not; as well as how viewing ASMR videos could influence moods and arousal levels.

We’ll explore neuroticism, state anxiety, and trait anxiety in those who experience ASMR, as well as discuss how brain imaging studies reveal intriguing differences between people with and without ASMR capabilities. Furthermore, we will examine how watching ASMR videos can positively impact mood and arousal levels.

Lastly, we’ll investigate whether temporary symptom relief through neural network activation plays a role in experiencing ASMR or if it’s simply a placebo effect. By understanding these aspects of the phenomenon more deeply, you may find that incorporating ASMR journaling into your routine can provide both relaxation and self-exploration opportunities.

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The Science Behind ASMR

ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a sensory phenomenon that has gained significant public interest over the past decade. It’s characterized by tingling sensations in response to specific audiovisual stimuli such as whispering and tapping. Research on its underlying mechanisms and effects on mental health symptoms has found that individuals who experience ASMR have significantly greater neuroticism, state anxiety, and trait anxiety scores compared to non-experiencers. This indicates potential benefits for those with anxiety disorders.

Neuroticism, State Anxiety, and Trait Anxiety in ASMR Experiencers

Studies on people who can feel these tingles from various triggers like soft-spoken voices or gentle touches of objects against surfaces (known as “triggers”) discovered higher levels of neuroticism among experiencers than their counterparts without this ability. Neuroticism is a personality trait associated with emotional instability and increased vulnerability to stress.

Besides neuroticism, these individuals also reported higher levels of both state anxiety (temporary feelings of worry) and trait anxiety (long-term predisposition towards anxiousness). These findings suggest that those who experience ASMR may be more susceptible to stressors but could also benefit from engaging with content designed specifically for them.

Potential Clinical Relevance of ASMR for Treating Anxiety Disorders

Given the relationship between experiencing ASMR sensations and heightened levels of anxiety traits mentioned above, there might be potential clinical relevance when it comes to treating conditions like generalized anxiety disorder or panic attacks using targeted interventions involving ASMR stimuli.

For instance, exposure to ASMR videos or audio recordings could help individuals with anxiety disorders by providing a calming and soothing environment that allows them to focus on the present moment. This mindfulness aspect can be beneficial in reducing feelings of stress and worry.

Moreover, since ASMR is known for inducing relaxation through gentle sounds and visuals, it might also serve as an effective tool for promoting sleep among those struggling with insomnia due to anxiety-related issues. By incorporating ASMR into their bedtime routine, they may find it easier to drift off into a peaceful slumber.

In summary, the science behind ASMR points towards its potential benefits for people who are more prone to experiencing stress and anxiety. Though further exploration is essential to grasp the precise mechanisms at work, it’s indisputable that partaking in this one-of-a-kind sensory experience can offer short-term alleviation of signs related to such psychological health issues.

Brain Imaging Studies on People with ASMR Capabilities

Recent research has delved into the fascinating world of ASMR and its effects on the brain. Scientists are interested in understanding how people who can experience ASMR differ from those who cannot. Brain imaging studies have provided valuable insights into this question, revealing intriguing differences between these two groups.

Less Distinct Neural Networks in ASMR Experiencers

In a study by Smith et al., it was found that individuals capable of experiencing ASMR had less distinct neural networks within their brains compared to non-experiencers. The neural pathways of ASMR experiencers are more blended, allowing them to process sensory information in an altered manner. The authors suggest that this could be one reason why certain sounds or visual stimuli trigger tingling sensations and relaxation in some people but not others.

Blended Connections Between Brain Regions

A further analysis of these findings revealed something even more interesting: people with ASMR capabilities tend to exhibit blended connections between different areas of their brains. For example, they might have stronger links between auditory processing centers and emotional regulation areas or heightened connectivity between somatosensory cortex (responsible for processing touch) and limbic system (involved in emotions). These unique patterns may explain why individuals with ASMR are able to derive profound pleasure from seemingly mundane experiences like listening to someone whispering or watching someone fold towels.

This increased connectivity also appears to play a role in other aspects related to ASMR, such as enhanced empathy levels among experiencers. A study by Poerio et al. found that ASMR experiencers scored higher on measures of empathy compared to non-experiencers, suggesting a possible link between the unique neural connections and heightened emotional sensitivity in this population.

These findings have potential implications for therapeutic applications. For instance, understanding how certain sensory stimuli can activate specific brain regions may help develop targeted interventions for individuals struggling with anxiety or depression who might benefit from engaging with ASMR content.

Evidence suggests that neurological distinctions exist between those who experience ASMR and those who do not. As our understanding continues to grow, so too will our ability to harness the power of this fascinating phenomenon for relaxation and stress relief purposes.

Key Thought: 

Recent brain imaging studies have shown that individuals capable of experiencing ASMR have less distinct neural networks and blended connections between different areas of their brains, which may explain why certain sounds or visual stimuli trigger tingling sensations and relaxation in some people but not others. These unique patterns may also play a role in enhanced empathy levels among experiencers, suggesting potential therapeutic applications for anxiety or depression.

Effects of ASMR Videos on Mood and Arousal Levels

ASMR videos are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They can help you relax, unwind, and even fall asleep. These videos feature specific audiovisual stimuli that can improve your mood and reduce arousal levels. Let’s explore how these stimuli affect mood and arousal levels in individuals who are receptive to ASMR.

Improved Mood Through Exposure to Audiovisual Stimuli

Research has shown that engaging with ASMR content can lead to significant improvements in mood for those who experience the tingling sensations associated with it. This activation of brain areas associated with attention, social cognition, and sensory processing may explain the positive effects experienced by viewers when engaging in ASMR. By focusing on the calming sounds and visuals presented in these videos, viewers may be better equipped to manage stressors they encounter throughout their day.

  • Tapping: The sound of someone gently tapping on various surfaces can create a soothing effect for many listeners.
  • Whispering: Soft-spoken voices or whispers are commonly used in ASMR videos because they provide a sense of intimacy while remaining gentle enough not to overwhelm sensitive ears.
  • Paper crinkling: The delicate rustle of paper being folded or manipulated can also induce relaxation through its repetitive nature.

Reduced Arousal Levels Aiding Sleep Quality

In addition to improving overall mood, exposure to ASMR content has been found effective at reducing arousal levels which may contribute positively towards sleep quality. Studies have indicated that people who experience ASMR display a decrease in arousal when engaging with these videos, which can make it simpler for them to drift off and remain asleep through the night.

Sleep-disordered individuals may find this particularly advantageous, as lowered levels of stimulation could generate an atmosphere more apt for restful slumber. Some popular ASMR triggers that aid in relaxation and sleep include:

  • Soft-spoken bedtime stories: Listening to someone gently narrate a story can provide comfort and ease listeners into a relaxed state before drifting off to sleep.
  • Gentle hair brushing sounds: The soothing sound of bristles gliding through hair is another common trigger used by many ASMRtists to promote relaxation and induce sleepiness.
  • Ambient nature sounds: Incorporating gentle raindrops, rustling leaves, or distant ocean waves into an ASMR video can further enhance the calming atmosphere needed for quality rest.

Incorporating ASMR content into your daily routine may offer significant benefits in terms of mood enhancement and improved sleep quality, especially if you are among those who are receptive to this unique sensory phenomenon. Take a moment to let the soothing sounds of ASMR lull you into relaxation.

Key Thought: 

ASMR videos can improve mood and reduce arousal levels in receptive individuals. Tapping, whispering, and paper crinkling are common triggers that induce relaxation while soft-spoken bedtime stories, gentle hair brushing sounds, and ambient nature sounds aid in promoting sleepiness. Incorporating ASMR content into daily routines may offer significant benefits for those looking to enhance their mood or improve sleep quality.

Temporary Relief from Symptoms Through Neural Network Activation

ASMR experiences provide temporary relief for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. One theory behind this phenomenon is the activation of specific neural networks within the brain during an ASMR experience. Researchers believe that these activated networks may be responsible for providing a sense of relaxation and well-being in those who can feel tingles.

Studies on ASMR suggest that certain areas of the brain associated with attention, sensory processing, and social cognition are more active during an ASMR session. This heightened activity could explain why many people report feeling calmer and more focused after engaging with ASMR content.

Activation of Specific Neural Networks Providing Symptom Relief

  • The Default Mode Network (DMN): The DMN is a network of interconnected brain regions that become active when we’re not engaged in any particular task or external stimulus. It’s thought to play a role in self-referential thinking, daydreaming, and mind-wandering – all activities linked to relaxation. During an ASMR experience, increased activity within the DMN might contribute to feelings of calmness and introspection.
  • The Salience Network: This network helps us identify important stimuli in our environment by directing our attention towards them. When exposed to soothing sounds or visuals typically found in ASMR videos (such as tapping or whispering), the salience network may prioritize these stimuli over other stressors – allowing users to focus solely on their relaxing effects.
  • The Mirror Neuron System: Mirror neurons are specialized cells that fire both when we perform an action and when we observe someone else performing the same action. This system is thought to play a crucial role in empathy, imitation, and understanding others’ emotions. During an ASMR experience, mirror neurons may be activated by observing gentle actions (such as hair brushing or soft speaking), leading to feelings of comfort and connection with the content creator.

Placebo Effect in ASMR Experiences

In addition to neural network activation, it’s worth considering the potential influence of the placebo effect on ASMR experiences. The placebo effect occurs when individuals expect a positive outcome from engaging with certain stimuli – even if there’s no inherent predisposition towards feeling such sensations themselves. In other words, simply believing that ASMR will provide relaxation could lead some users to feel more relaxed after exposure.

This phenomenon highlights the importance of individual differences in response to ASMR content. While some people might genuinely benefit from its soothing effects due to their unique brain wiring, others may find relief through expectation alone.

Key Thought: 

ASMR experiences activate specific neural networks in the brain, providing temporary relief for anxiety, depression and insomnia. The Default Mode Network (DMN), Salience Network and Mirror Neuron System are all activated during an ASMR experience leading to feelings of calmness, introspection and connection with content creators. Additionally, the placebo effect may play a role in some individuals’ response to ASMR content.

ASMR Journaling as a Therapeutic Tool

ASMR combined with journaling can be a powerful tool for those struggling with anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Creating a tranquil atmosphere that encourages introspection and serenity can be accomplished by focusing on both the ASMR stimuli as well as your own reflections.

Combining Audiovisual Stimuli with Written Reflection

Find a quiet space to focus on both the ASMR content and your thoughts. Choose an ASMR video or audio recording that resonates with you. As you listen to the soothing triggers, reflect on any emotions or thoughts that arise. Write in your journal, incorporating descriptive language about how the ASMR sensations make you feel physically and emotionally. This will deepen your connection to the experience and serve as a valuable record of personal growth over time.

Promoting Relaxation and Self-Exploration through Combined Practice

  • Mindfulness: ASMR journaling encourages mindfulness by focusing attention on present-moment experiences. The combination of calming auditory stimuli with introspective writing fosters greater awareness of one’s internal state, a key component of effective stress management.
  • Catharsis: Expressive writing paired with the soothing effects of ASMR can help individuals process and release pent-up emotions, leading to improved mental health and overall well-being.
  • Self-discovery: Journaling provides an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. ASMR journaling sessions may uncover insights about emotional triggers, coping mechanisms, or thought patterns that were previously hidden from conscious awareness.

Don’t be disheartened if it takes some experimentation to find the right audiovisual and writing prompts that are most conducive to your ASMR journaling journey. The key is consistency: set aside dedicated time each day or week for this therapeutic practice. Over time, you’ll likely notice improvements in your mood, stress levels, and sleep quality, and perhaps even discover newfound aspects of yourself along the way.

ASMR journaling has the potential to enhance therapeutic benefits by providing a multisensory experience designed for relaxation and introspection. Give it a try and see if it becomes an indispensable part of your self-care toolkit.

Key Thought: 

ASMR journaling combines the therapeutic benefits of ASMR with reflective writing to promote relaxation and self-exploration. By focusing on present-moment experiences, expressing emotions through writing, and uncovering hidden insights about oneself, individuals can improve their mental health and overall well-being. Consistency is key in finding the right combination that works best for you.

FAQs in Relation to Asmr Journaling

What is ASMR in journaling?

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) in journaling means incorporating relaxing sensory experiences, like soft sounds or visuals, into reflective writing to create an immersive environment that promotes relaxation and self-exploration.

What do psychologists say about ASMR?

Psychologists recognize ASMR as a genuine phenomenon but need more research to understand its underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic benefits, like helping with anxiety disorders, insomnia, and depression (source).

Does ASMR help people with ADHD?

While there is limited research on the effects of ASMR on individuals with ADHD specifically, anecdotal evidence suggests that some people find it helpful for relaxation and focus.

Is ASMR good for your mental health?

Preliminary findings indicate that experiencing ASMR may have positive effects on mental health by reducing stress levels, improving mood (source), promoting relaxation, and potentially aiding sleep quality.


ASMR journaling is a powerful tool for relaxation and stress relief, activating specific neural networks in the brain and improving sleep quality.

Brain imaging studies on people with ASMR capabilities reveal blended connections between brain regions, and exposure to ASMR videos has been shown to improve mood and reduce arousal levels.

By combining audiovisual stimuli with written reflection, ASMR journaling promotes relaxation and self-exploration through a combined practice.

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