In recent years there has been a growing trend in the previously unknown phenomenon of ASMR.
Put simply, it describes the term used for the relaxing sensation people get when watching videos or listening to recordings.
ASMR’s effectiveness varies from person to person and can be triggered by a variety of different things. There are plenty of videos available for horse lovers that involve our favourite animal, mainly because they happen to make some rather joyful repetitive noises. Crunching carrots and apples, munching hay, friendly snuffling, the sound of hoof beats on tarmac are popular stress shooters with horsey and non-horsey folk alike.
One survey found that 98% of people use ASMR to relax, 82% use it to help them sleep and 70% to deal with stress, anxiety and fear.
How to use this calming trend as a rider
The night before a competition to help you sleep well and wake refreshed, ready to go.
With any situation that causes fear or stress – having a lesson or hacking alone, for instance. Just watch a video an hour or two before you need to be in action. You’ll feel relaxed and your stress levels will drop.
Try playing a video while just being with your horse – perhaps when you’re grooming him. He will appreciate your calmness and the stillness of the moment. However, this might be best done when you’re on your own at the yard.
If you suffer with confidence issues, regular experiences of ASMR will help with your mindset and negative self-talk.
If things haven’t quite gone to plan with your horse that day, playing an ASMR video when you get home from the yard can improve your mood and restore your perspective on events.
If you want to try ASMR, but are unsure what triggers will work for you, there are videos on YouTube to help you find out. Called ASMR Tests, the videos play a variety of trigger noises so that participants can work out which produce the best result for them. Everyone is different, and you may be surprised at which ones you gravitate towards. The best effect is usually felt when the videos are watched while using headphones.
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