​What Is ASMR? Why So Many People Enjoy 'Whisper Relaxation Videos' On YouTube

What's the appeal of these ASMR videos?

woman enjoying ASMR whisper relaxation videos getty

ASMR and whisper relaxation videos are all the rage nowadays. And that's not all: ASMR, also known as "autonomous sensory meridian response" videos can include gentle tapping with fingernails or other objects, crinkling paper, and even eating. 

This is all done in front of a powerful microphone to produce those "tingly" noises that have become an internet sensation. 

As a hypnotherapist, I know how a whisper works to access the subconscious mind, rather than a loud bang or roar.


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Why do soft sounds matter in ASMR and whisper relaxation videos?

You hear sounds all day long. Urban areas act as noise factories. There are cars on the roads, intermittent aircraft overhead, cell phones dinging all day long.

Add to that, the screeching of sirens being emanated from emergency vehicles rushing to and fro. These are a few noises I endure each day.

If you live in an urban area, your subconscious mind has learned to stay in a hyper-alert state. This is due to the overstimulation of sights and sounds from your surroundings. Your subconscious in all probability is running on a non-stop overload.


Background noise is a must in many public places. Many people find silence intimidating, so their subconscious tries to block out noise to maintain some sort of sanity.

Our shrinking attention span.

In 2005, I had heard that no presentation should be longer than 90 minutes, because humans can’t handle sitting in one position longer than that without zoning out.

Around 2010, I heard that every 45 minutes, you should take a 15-minute physical break from your current activity. This helps with the optimal functioning of your body and mind.

In 2012, vine videos that are six-seconds long became popular. The attention span seems to be reducing over time, possibly due to an overwhelmed urban lifestyle.


No one has the time when time is all that you have. Once it's gone, it never returns.

Today, in 2020, people apparently can’t listen to something over eight seconds at a stretch.

The medicine of soft sounds in ASMR.

Most urban dwellers work extensive hours to make a living. Living life never occurs to them, because it's not an option ever offered.

When you think of living your life, do you seek TV shows, eating out in restaurants, shopping in malls, and drinking and socializing bars? Or, is being in nature and the outdoors something you crave?

The few fortunate folks who stay active in seeking nature and the great outdoors keep it to weekends. Slowing down, meditating, and being in nature feels more like a luxury than a necessity.


In fact, without shutting out the noise, there's no way you can recharge.

Listening is an active part of communication.

Instead of talking, focus on listening. Learning to be interactive in communication is important for a healthy relationship.

So, if you must speak and want to be heard, try whispering.

When you speak softly with total eye contact, people will lean in to listen. Something is soothing about a whisper.

As a mother, I sang to my children to put them to sleep. Towards the end, I would stop patting them and keep my hands on them, gentle yet firm.

I would continue repeating the lullaby in the softest voice possible, over and over again. It was my faintest whisper to which my children slept.


It's never too late to relive your childhood with whisper videos.

Soft sounds are a comforting way to bypass the critical mind and drop into the safe space within. You can let go and feel free.

When in nature, you can hear leaves rustle, wings flutter, and even the breath or of someone close by. Something is comforting about silence.

The next most-soothing experience is the soft sounds of nature. When you pay attention, the loudest sound could be a whisper. You do not fear anything or feel the need to react.

How does ASMR work?

Coined in 2010, ASMR is a relaxing, often sedative sensation. It's an acronym for "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response." 


ASMR begins on the scalp and moves down the body. It feels like your lover running their fingers through your hair and down your spine.

It’s claimed to be one of the biggest trends on YouTube today.

I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago. All my children knew of it but me. I guess I never needed much coaxing to fall asleep or tricks to continue to stay asleep.

Initially, people feel sleepy when they sit to meditate. It’s the silence that makes you feel safe, and hence fall asleep easier.

You might have heard of people who sleep to pre-recorded sounds of the ocean or waterfalls. All the stress of the day gets washed away when you hear soft sounds.


RELATED: Is This 'Hi Stranger' Viral Video Creepy Or Soothing?

Now, it's the age of whisper videos.

My son in middle school would binge-watch Bob Ross videos. Mr. Ross would speak in a mesmerizing voice while he taught viewers to paint on the TV show The Joy of Painting in the 1980s. His shows are still popular on youtube and Netflix.

At school, I would get F’s in my art class. When I started watching these videos, I began to believe that I could paint as good as him.

I started painting mountains, happy clouds, and trees, and learned that there are no mistakes — only "happy accidents." It was his gentle whisper that made me feel safe to paint my own "masterpieces."


When you want someone to listen to you and remember what you said, speak slow, speak low, speak softly.

Remember "Speak low when you speak love" by Billy Holiday?

All the long conversations you had with your beloved over the phone or in person, remember them? You might not recollect a word spoken or heard after the conversation was over.

All you remember is the way it made you feel then.

Even now, you remember the feeling, don't you? It's because your subconscious that received the input maybe decades ago, is replaying it now what got recorded back then.

Whisper videos could seem nonsensical to the conscious mind. But when the subconscious hears it, it's easily persuaded to do as the whisperer dictates.


The power of a whisper.

As we age, the voice of a woman gets shriller and the ears of men grow deaf to high-pitched noises. Age makes women struggle to hear the deeper voices of men. Communication breaks down. 

Your best bet to ensure being heard is full eye and partial body contact, even if it's two fingers on the wrist or elbow while you speak in a slow, near-whisper voice.

Whisper videos are extremely effective as marketing videos.

In the words of Ms. Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said... but people will never forget how you made them feel."


A whisper bypasses your cerebrum (the thinking part of the brain), and makes a deep dive into the amygdala, which is a part of the limbic system (the emotional part of the brain).

How do whisper relaxation videos work?

They make you feel safe and suggest that you do as directed. The speaker aims to retrain your brain to buy what they sell.

And all you're seeking is to feel safe, so you may fall asleep. You're not thinking at all.

When you hear the whisper videos before going to sleep, your entire sleep time is captivated by the whispers you last fed it. This is how subconscious reprogramming occurs.

You wake up the next day and can't wait to return to another whisper video — you're hooked.


Whisper videos take you to a place where you bypass the need to engage your critical mind or need to fight or escape. It's your safe and happy place — it acts as a sanctuary.

Now when you feel safe, there's no need to react and you are receptive to all suggestions. Anything you hear, you will take action according to the suggestions.

You follow each subliminal suggestion, whether it's to try a beer or bite into a chicken nugget.

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Keya Murthy is a Catalyst for Change. Using subconscious behavior strategies and principles of neuro-linguistic programming, she helps her clients get their goals in love and life. You may reach her directly by visiting her website.