ASMR: Ever hear of the Pickle Lady?
I had a very stressful job at one point in my career. There were days when I wanted to walk out and never return. It’s constant mind-numbing work that never ends, but it pays the bills. Every few hours, I take a break and scan my Facebook feed to escape the mundaneness of it all. One day, I came across my first ASMR video by Spirit Payton. The headline read: “Pickle ASMR Eating Sounds BIG Crunch Intense.” In the subheader, it mentions, ‘helps treat sleep disorders.’
I open up the video and see Spirit Payton for the very first time. I scan the background. It looks like she is sitting in front of the camera in her bedroom, with a big jar of Kosher Dill pickles. Meh. What really captures my attention is her bright red lipstick. Every time she takes a bite, I’m watching, intently, to see if it smears. Before I know it, the sounds of her crunching on the dill pickle lull me. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. This is what ASMR is all about.
Wikipedia describes ASMR as a subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterized by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin.” Pretty cool.
In another video, I found myself watching her eat celery sticks topped with french onion dip, black pepper, and other seasonings. The sound the styrofoam plate makes as she picks it up surprisingly triggers a tingle straight down my spine.
However, not all people can be triggered by ASMR. In fact, some people are really uncomfortable listening to the sound of loud chewing. I get it. It totally grosses you out. But, have you ever fallen asleep while getting your hair cut and styled? Maybe it’s those little clicks of the comb or the sound of scissors cutting hair that relaxes you. This is called unintentional ASMR. It can be compared to meditation and deep focus.
There are many benefits to listening to ASMR videos. Studies have shown that watching ASMR videos can slow the heart rate down, not to mention the feeling of calmness that comes over you. ASMR works the same way meditation does by releasing endorphins that promote an overall sense of wellbeing.
It’s two years later, and I know so much more about Spirit Payton and her trial and errors in life because she shares so much in her ASMR storytime vlogs. I’m hooked! So if you’re ready to drink the purple Koolaid, here is a collection of my favorite ASMR videos by Spirit Payton on YouTube, the Queen of ASMR.