Your child spends countless hours watching ASMR videos on YouTube. You’ve overheard conversations with her friends about the Instagram clips showing someone squishing slime, cutting soap or quietly ripping paper into tiny pieces. You may have seen the first ASMR commercial that an adult beverage company debuted during the Super Bowl. To you the concept is foreign, but you notice how these ASMR videos help clear your child’s brain fog and ease her anxious feeling. It may be helpful for you to understand the meaning behind ASMR and how it’s helping your child.
Autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, is the body’s reaction to certain sounds. These sounds are transmitted through video or audio clips available online and across social media. The clips feature individuals performing quiet tasks such as brushing hair, folding towels or whispering as they read a book or magazine. You may also see a soothing scene, such as falling rain, while someone quietly speaks in the background off camera.
When you hear these sounds, your body may enter into a state of relaxation. You experience a tingling sensation similar to what you feel when someone whispers in your ear. It moves throughout your body as a calmness begins to take over. The overall impact of ASMR is one of comfort and stress relief as you learn to be present in the moment. For a child living with anxiety, ASMR can be extremely beneficial.
How ASMR Helps Your Child
A child’s anxiety creates a world that feels as if it’s spiraling out of control most of the time. ASMR steps in and helps slow that chaotic feeling down by giving the child a tool that works to calm the central nervous system with soothing sounds and actions. It’s a therapeutic technique that prompts the body to release endorphins that create happiness. The anxiety coursing through the body slowly begins to ease up and the child becomes focused on the moment at hand.
ASMR videos allow the child to feel safe in those moments when anxiety would make her feel otherwise. Her brain taps into the soothing sounds and sends signals to her body that there is no danger present. The auditory or visual stimuli present in ASMR videos generate a tingling response that starts in her head and travels throughout her body. A wave of calmness washes over her that’s similar to what she may already be experiencing at home with you.
What You Can Do to Help
The scientific community pinpoints ASMR as having the capacity to lower your child’s heart rate and increase feelings of relaxation. It also works to help your child feel as if she has a connection to something other than her anxiety. Common ASMR triggers include speaking in a whisper, lightly tapping a microphone or other surface, stirring liquids or giving personal attention to someone. Although ASMR videos are the latest online trend, chances are you’ve been practicing it at home without realizing it.
Those moments when you reach out to your child with a soft touch, offer a soothing word or just sit in silence as you gently caress her hand form the fundamental background of ASMR therapy. You can continue this technique by working to establish a relaxing bedtime routine that includes reading her a story in a whispering tone. Gently massage her back as she drifts off to sleep. Use a soothing voice when you start to notice your child becoming upset or frustrated with a task.
If your child is not yet familiar with ASMR, you can slowly introduce her to this technique with videos geared for children. You can find a wealth of ASMR channels for children by searching YouTube. Consider making audio recordings of your own where you speak in a whispering voice and have your child listen to the recordings when she’s feeling anxious or winding down for the day. You can pair these actions with Brillia’s holistic approach to help your child face the challenges that anxiety brings into her world.
Although ASMR seems to be a new concept, you’ve been practicing the techniques since the day you became a parent. Speaking in a soothing voice, using a soft touch or creating a quiet environment in which your child feels safe are second nature to you. ASMR simply gives you a digital parenting tool that helps you and your child fight back against anxiety.
Aprel Phelps Downey is a brand storyteller, author, and writer, specializing in small business marketing services. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of South Florida. She resides in Eastern Tennessee with her husband and daughter.