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What’s a Worry Box with ASMR when it’s at home?

The video above is designed to help release stress and worries of any kind by putting them into a box and out of your mind. To do this, it combines hypnotic suggestions around a worry box with ASMR.  You have the option of creating your own worry box in real life, or just watching and listening. As for the ASMR component, even if you have never experienced it, or have no idea what it is, this video can help you set aside concerns so you can feel calmer and more in control.

What is a Worry Box?

A worry box is basically a way of putting worries into a container so that you can release them from your mind. Something of the sort is used in the EFT protocol ‘Sneaking Away from a Problem’. It can be done purely mentally, or hypnotically. You just picture or think about your issue, maybe giving it a shape or form. Then, you imagine putting it inside some kind of container. It could be a lock box, a cardboard box, or anything else that feels right to you. If need be, you could wrap the box in chains, if it’s a big troublesome problem!

However, you can also use the worry box concept in a more tangible way. This can be a lovely metaphor for your mind to make this feel more real, and therefore effective.

To make a worry box, you will need:

A piece of paper

One or more pens

A pair of scissors

A box, bag, or even just a tissue

This is very simple. You just write your worries on the piece of paper. You could write a single word that represents your worry, like ‘Work’, or a name or title, for example ‘Uncle Fred’. You can also write a more detailed description, which has the benefits associated with journalling, as well as the worry box benefits!

Then, cut each worry out, fold it up, and put it in your box or other container. Now, put the lid on the box, or close the bag, and then put it away wherever feels safe. You can forget your worries for as long as you need. And if you want to take another look at them later, they are stored up safe for you.

This is also a great exercise to do if you wake in the night with thoughts bouncing around in your brain. Put them on some paper and put them away to keep for later!

What is ASMR?

There’s been a lot of hype around ASMR as one of the many ‘millennial fads’. Is it just a fad? And is it just for millennials?

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, though that is a label that has only been applied to the phenomenon since 2010. Some people call it brain tingles, or brain-gasm. The latter is perhaps the least helpful, as studies have shown there is little or no sexual element to it.
Not everyone experiences these brain tingles in an obvious way. And people can experience them in very different ways and from different triggers.
For example, some people feel a tingling in their brain and down into their body from listening to particular sounds like tapping, scratching or whispering. Other people may just feel a slight tingle in one part of their head when watching someone else painting or putting on make-up.
There are a lot of quite different ASMR triggers. These can just be sounds, or they can be visual cues, or it can be more about a sense of personalised care and attention. It can also be connected with a sense of safety, being in the presence of a trusted expert with the intention to help you. And, in person, ASMR can also be triggered by gentle touches, such as brushing someone’s hair or giving them a facial.
While a lot of the current focus is on ASMR videos, these triggers are often first experienced in person: having a haircut, or a manicure or an eye-test would be ‘professional’ settings where this might easily happen. Having your hair brushed or played with by a loved one, or having someone take the time to explain something they are passionate about to you, are other more intimate experiences that can act as triggers.

How does ASMR work?

It is hypothesised that ASMR works along the same lines as interpersonal bonding. These gentle triggers and the feeling of safety and trust are associated with the release of dopamine, seratonin, endorphins and oxytocin.
For example, it has been shown that increased oxytocin release during a hypnotherapy session leads to better therapeutic outcomes. Equally, if you want to feel soothed, calmed and relaxed, this chemical cocktail is the perfect recipe. These are the same elements that parents want to achieve with a fractitious baby, which is the first experience of interpersonal bonding that anyone goes through.
At a neurological level, it is likely that ASMR is connected with the autonomous nervous system. This is the aspect that can either send you into fight or flight (associated with stress and the release of cortisol), or help you go into parasympathetic mode (associated with resting and digesting). This system is activated by signs of danger, or triggers suggesting safety.
ASMR videos use lots of different triggers to suggest safety, trust and caring. These activate the parasympatheric part of the autonomous nervous system, which is responsible for bringing you into a state of calm, peace, and the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. At a deeper level, they activate what Steven Porges calls the Social Engagement system, which allows for emotions such as play and joy and trust.

What is ASMR used for?

In an era when depression and anxiety have been steadily rising, ASMR is one tool that people have been turning to for relief.
Many people have taken to watching ASMR videos to help boost their mood, and especially to help them relax and fall asleep. There are thousands of these videos available on YouTube, as well as a number of dedicated channels, a Facebook group, and other support systems for the ASMR community.
Some people now offer live ASMR sessions, either online or in person. That way, you can have something tailored especially to your preferences.

What if you don’t feel any tingles?

Various scientific studies have been carried out already to explore this phenomenon. The evidence so far suggests that even if you don’t experience tingles, you will still benefit from the calming, relaxing, mood-lifting aspect of these phenomena.

There is still discussion in academic circles about whether the brain tingles are connected with oxytocin, dopamine, seratonin or other neurotransmitters. Whatever the case, while you may not feel the tingles you are still likely to be releasing these helpful and pleasant chemicals.

Why use ASMR?

I am putting together some videos that use these kinds of triggers.
By boosting your mood and engagement at a physical level with these ASMR triggers, you become better able to fully use and appreciate the hypnotic suggestions that suit you. As all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, anything that doesn’t work for you will just be dismissed by your conscious or subconscious mind. However, being in a more receptive state may help to reduce the self-sabotaging that can often occur when you are faced with anxiety and stress.
I invite you to give the video at the top a try, and do let me know what you think.

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