The Wonderful World of ASMR

I have trouble sleeping, both falling asleep and staying asleep. With my anxiety and the recent influx of nightmares I’ve been having (zombies are not real, Andi. Zombies are NOT real), bedtime is not longer my favorite time of the day. Until a couple months ago, I would lie in bed and let my head race. I’d try listening to music or watch an old episode of “Will and Grace” but both never seemed to help. I don’t know what I was doing on YouTube that I discovered my first ASMR video- it was of a young Russian woman, whispering gently about her jewelry. I watched the video for five minutes before failing asleep.

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a little hard to describe. It is a positive reaction one experiences in response to a certain sound you hear. Think about a cat’s purr and how relaxing it sounds. You dive deeper into its melody and vibration and makes you feel warm and comforted- that is ASMR. The sole purpose of ASMR is to relax people. Ideally, ASMR videos are meant to give the viewer a relaxing tingle at the back of their head or spine (not everyone experiences that sensation, though). ASMR videos usually involve whispering, relaxing hand movements, smacking of the lips, nail tapping, scratching on hard surfaces such as tables or books and brushing sounds.

Everyone’s tingles vary and their reactions are different. For me, the sounds of tapping and paper shuffling are the most comforting (maybe it’s because I’m a writer). I love the sound of a sweet whisper and am especially fond of role-play videos (ASMR artists make up different scenarios from cutting hair to pretending to be a witch). I don’t necessarily get tingles- the feeling I get is this warm almost-blanket feeling. I experience this big bear hug that covers me, clearing the bees buzzing in my head and letting me feel relaxation for the first time all day. Then I can finally sleep.

ASMR is bit controversial as it has not been researched much. Honestly, I rather admit to watching porn than ASMR videos. I try to explain the power of watching someone fold towels but I think they look at me like I have a weird fetish. I tell people to think of hearing your favorite sounds over and over again and how relaxing it can be. People love hearing James Earl Jones’ voice- that deep calmness- or Bob Ross exclaim how happy his little tree is. That’s what ASMR is to me- a piece of audible heaven.

I don’t mean to sound like a crazy sales person trying to sell you a used car at the auto dealer but ASMR works. It has done wonders for me. If you are like me, dear reader, heavy with anxiety and sleeping problems, I recommend checking out some ASMR videos and find a content creator who works for you. They can only help. Happy sleeping and relaxation!

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SpringBok is one of the many great ASMR content creators- she’s amazing!

Nobody is Coming

I hate it when people tell me to snap out of it. When deep in a depression cavity, it’s the last thing I want to do. It feels like the hardest thing to do. But lately, I’ve been thinking that snapping out of it is the best thing to do.
 
Nobody is coming. This thought has snapped at me.
 
Young girls grow up on fairy tales of beautiful princesses waiting for their prince charmings as they clean houses and chat up with dwarves. Life isn’t like that. You can look for the next big thing that will fix you. A person with severely good looks and a shoulder to cry on. Books and blogs posts (including my own). Money and wealth. A job. A new city. Yes, some articles, books, products and people will give you support and insights that resonate deeply with you and that you can put into practice. But in the end, you are it.
 
No one is coming. No one is coming to save you. Nothing will save you but YOURSELF. You have to take responsibility for your own life and what happens in it. Other things and people can certainly aid you quite a bit. But you are responsible.
 
You can go around blaming society or certain people for your problems in your social life. Or your finances. Or your health. You can always find scapegoats to judge to feel better about yourself. You can look for people that will “fix you.” You can do this for the rest of your life if you like. It won’t change much and life will continue to suck. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. Are you a insane- mostly likely you’re not. Whatever has to be done, it’s you who have to take responsibility and do it.
 
Things might always not go your way. You’ll fall and stumble and you will probably have bad luck from time to time (perhaps all the time- that does happen). You will see that life is easier for some other people- and you will hate that it is. You just have to focus on yourself and keep that focus on doing what you can do with what you have in whatever situation you’re in. Life is about living; enduring stressful times and appreciating the great times is all a part of it. It’s about the ups and downs. Otherwise, it’d be flat and you’d be dead.
 
At the end of the day, you are the only person in charge of you and your happiness– not your parents nor your family; not your friends; not your boyfriend (no matter how adorable he may be). Snap back and try to live your life each day the best that you can.
 
Make today great, dear reader. Make life great.

Naked Thoughts

There was this debate online earlier last week about sex and murder. Maroon 5 came out with a music video for their latest song, “Animal.” In the video, the band’s leader singer stalks a young woman and ominously spies on her during intimate moments. The film ended in a blood bath… literally- the couple has a bucket of blood poured over them. I watched the video (thinking it was similar to another video I once had on rotation) and read some of the comments below. One person started a thread of how this particular video was better than another certain female rapper’s video. That got me thinking…

A New Scientist study says by the time the average U.S. child starts elementary school, they will have seen 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on TV. How is it that we’re okay with seeing blood and gore every night on television but we still freak out when a woman flashes a nipple or someone mentions the word, “penis?” Why are dance moves criticized more than bloody knife fights? Why is violence the norm and tolerable while sex is still considered taboo? I would think that our bodies would be natural to see on a screen than violence- the majority of the world has or will have sex (not to mention, we all have a sexual organ); only a handful of people commit violent, injurious crimes.

A little while ago, Olivia Wilde graced the pages of Glamour, breast feeding her infant son. The pictures were beautiful but caused a stir, with people questioning whether or not it’s appropriate for women to breastfeed their children in public. “Breastfeeding is the most natural thing,” Wilde told the magazine. If “the breast is the best,” why do people get in a tizzy when a mother pulls out her nipple to feed her hungry child?

I’ll be honest- the lyrics to Minaj’s “Anaconda” aren’t the best but I do love the video. As a woman who always worries about her size (especially as I just gained a pants size), it’s wonderful to see women shaking their rounded bottoms on screen. I love how Minaj celebrates her shape and is body positive. I hope other women watch the “Anaconda” video and will love their shapely butts, ample thighs, chubby bellies, anything and everything. That celebration is what I rather see on television. Leave the guts and gore to the cheesy B-horror movies and the world news.

 

 

October is National Depression Awareness Month

Gonna keep this one short: Depression is awful and many people around the world suffer from it (including me). I’m a big mental health advocate and it still surprises me how little our world talks about disorders like depression, anxiety and mania. I believe the only way you can learn is to dive deep and ask the big questions. The more we learn, the better we understand- especially when it comes to treatment and how to help friends.

If you don’t know about depression (how it affects the brain and the body, long-term effects, etc.), do your research. To those who are suffering, hang in there. We’re battling this war together- and I do believe we will win.

And if you rather advocate for another cause this month, October is also National Poetry Month (why don’t you read some Shel Silverstein to an elementary school class?) and Breast Cancer Awareness Month (support the cause and wear pink!).