What Causes ASMR?

Unfortunately, due to lack of scientific research, there has been no one way found of getting ASMR tingles to happen – yet.

Although thankfully, the ASMR community has experimented with this for nearly 10+ plus years primarily on YouTube so there is a lot of non-scientific though legitimate research collected by its creators and consumers each and every day.

So I’m here to let you in on what causes ASMR and how you can replicate the things we’ve found in the community to hopefully get you the ASMR tingles we can’t get enough of.

First off, What Causes ASMR?

what causes asmr

Well, there are a number of things that have been discovered to produce the brain orgasm that we love.

However like I’ve touched on, what causes ASMR to you specifically can differ from person to person drastically; something that works for me may not necessarily work for you.

Here are a few things we’ve found:

ASMR can be triggered by;

  • Sounds
  • Movement
  • Exposure to Light
  • Trigger Words
  • Touching
  • Smells

Already you may be able to see the problem with only exposing yourself to YouTube content when finding what causes ASMR, or just about any content online if you’re looking to get ASMR tingles.

Things like touch and smell that COULD trigger the ASMR tingles can not be found this way (obviously); instead, it would require you to go out and expose yourself to these particular things in the real world.

Although this may seem a little annoying, I find this is where the best experience of ASMR happens as it feels a lot more natural and you are not forcing it.

So much so you have a better time of having ASMR brought on as you’re not stressing out trying to create this feeling.

Instead, you’re just going about your life doing whatever it is you need to do and BAM you get the tingles out of nowhere – a super serial experience and one that I have fortunately had the pleasure of experiencing many times.

Here are some IRL experiences that have caused me to get ASMR:

  • Having my hair shampooed
  • Whispering with a friend at night
  • Back Massage
  • Foot Massage

If you’ve noticed; all of these occasions happened during a one and one experience, and I think this is another thing that helps to exposure yourself to ASMR and is why ASMR videos on YouTube or so good for this too.

As they too offer a 1 one 1 experience between you and the content creator; and is perhaps the reason – beyond the fact of what they are doing with their hands or objects – as to why they are so effective at giving people ASMR tingles.

If you want to know right now; from someone who has experienced this new phenomenon, then feel free to check out my article on what ASMR feels like here.

5 Common ASMR Triggers That Work For Me

To get back into more of what causes ASMR, here are my 5 Common ASMR Triggers that are always the culprits when it comes to getting my scalp tingly – hopefully you can use this list to find something that will work for you too!

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list; then feel to check it out here for an extended version of the best triggers.


Tapping is a super simple yet effective trigger that always works on me; even if it doesn’t give any tingles right away it never fails to make me feel relaxed and ready for sleep.

Tapping is quite an extensive trigger because there are many items an individual can tap on to make some great sounds.

Though items like wood, plastic, and cardboard are my favorite sorts of sounds as they have a good range of heavy and light sounds to them – so I’d recommend these types of tapping videos if you’re unsure of what might work for you.

Personal Attention

This can be a range of many things, light talking, words and phrases that are comforting to hear such as “Everything will be okay” “You’re fine” “You’ve got this” as well as an assortment of hand movements.

Personal attention is generally created and used for anyone struggling with an episode of depression or anxiety or even just having a stressful day at work.

That’s just from my experience though and is how I imagine people using it, as this is what I would typically use this sort of ‘ASMR trigger’ for.

Although because of its close 1 one 1 experience I find myself using it if I feel that I have no socialized much that day, whether due to work or anxieties I’ve been having as this helps to fulfill this sort of hole that is created due to lack of such experience.

Hand Movements

This overlaps slightly with personal attention as hand movements are used a lot within this trigger type although exclusive hand movement videos are super awesome in almost hypnotizing you into relaxation.

Typically I find myself using my eyes to follow someone’s hands around the screen; this helps to distract me from whatever I’m thinking about which may be holding me back from getting the beauty sleep I need.

Massage (Watching)

There is just something about watching someone else get a massage that just does it for me.

I think I can almost put myself in their position, imaging the person hands on my body relaxing me too which is why it can be so comforting.

With that in mind, I think watching someone else come from a level of stress all the way to relaxed and on some occasions fall fast as sleep – it just so satisfying to watch.

And obviously because of all the sounds, hand touching, and hand movements combined this again sort of hypnotizes me into relaxation and I think is one of the more quirky ways of becoming relaxed as you’re almost watching someone have a 1 on 1 experience which you desperately want and need.

Really strange if you think about it for a second.

But still a way then never seems to fail for me.


There are plenty of roleplays on YouTube that gets peoples tingles going, one of the most popular ones is the crinal nerve exams; I think this is because it features a range of lights, hand movements and triggers words.

So it’s an all-round great experience.

This is a similar reason as to why I enjoy roleplays so much but generally, they feel like a 1 on 1 conversation with whatever character the ASMRtist is acting as; usually, they’ll ask questions and tell you to do things so its a pretty interactive experience which really helps to fill a social void.

Final Words

what causes ASMR

There are many things as to what causes ASMR which can be seen as good or bad depending on if you’ve already found how to get the ASMR tingling sensation yourself yet.

Although as I’ve stated, I think discovering new things and experimenting with them is part of the enjoyment of ASMR; so I encourage you to try to expose yourself to all the ways ASMR can be triggered by watching a variety of YouTube videos because who knows – the next one you watch could be the one that gives you the sensation you’re looking for.

As always,

Thanks for reading.

Sweet Dreams,