It may sound a bit strange at first, but whispering can benefit your mental and physical health. Researchers from the University of Sheffield have discovered that those who experience ASMR significantly reduced heart rates while watching ASMR videos compared to people who do not experience ASMR.
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), the relaxing ‘brain tingles’ experienced by some people in response to specific triggers, such as whispering, tapping and slow hand movements are very positive for the health as it gives the feeling of being calm and relaxed.
There are more than 13 million ASMR videos on YouTube — including medical examinations, haircuts and massages and folding towel tutorials — which people watch to relax, relieve stress or sleep better.
“Lots of people report experiencing ASMR since childhood and awareness of the sensation has risen dramatically over the past decade due to internet sites such as YouTube and Reddit.
However, ASMR has gone virtually unnoticed in scientific research which is why we wanted to examine whether watching ASMR videos reliably produces feelings of relaxation and accompanying changes in the body, such as decreased heart rate,” Dr Giulia Poerio, of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Psychology said.
Researchers investigated whether ASMR is a reliable and physiologically-rooted experience with the potential to benefit the physical and mental health of those who experience it. The results clearly speak in favor of ASMR.
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The study found that those who experience ASMR showed significantly greater reductions in their heart rates when watching ASMR videos (an average decrease of 3.14 beats per minute) compared to those who do not. They also showed significant increases in positive emotions including relaxation and feelings of social connection.
Dr Poerio said: “Our studies show that ASMR videos do indeed have the relaxing effect anecdotally reported by experiencers — but only in people who experience the feeling. This was reflected in ASMR participants’ self-reported feelings and objective reductions in their heart rates compared to non-ASMR participants. What’s interesting is that the average reductions in heart rate experienced by our ASMR participants was comparable to other research findings on the physiological effects of stress-reduction techniques such as music and mindfulness. ”
The study found that, compared to non-ASMR participants, those who experience ASMR reported more frequent tingling, increased levels of excitement and calmness, and decreased levels of stress and sadness.
So, if you have the chance – do whisper.