We’ve all been there – you have a fully packed schedule of tasks to complete, but your attention span starts to drop out.
Your list of responsibilities can’t always wait for you to regain your focus, and procrastinating never ends well. Luckily, there is a long list of essential oils known to help people clear their minds and feel energized.
In this article, we’ll explore this topic and share 17 unique essential oils that may help you regain your focus.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are a natural product that comes from plants. Within these plants, you can find chemical compounds with high levels of potency. These compounds are natural, concentrated, and can typically be found in the plant’s roots, stems, leaves, or flowers.
These are also the compounds that function to produce the fragrance of plants. The scent of these essential oils is necessary for the plant to function in nature. The aroma works to protect the plant from environmental hazards and even certain dangerous conditions that can harm them. In addition, essential oils found in plants help during the process of pollination.
Essential oils are made by pressing or steaming plants that contain these chemical compounds. It often requires several pounds of the plant in order to produce one vial of essential oils.
To harness essential oils from these plants, they are extracted from a large amount of a type of plant, sometimes averaging to several pounds of the plant to produce a regular vial of essential oils. In order to extract essential oils, they are made by pressing or steaming the plant, which contains the chemical compounds.
Can Essential Oils Really Help You Focus?
Within your brain, there is a network of cells called the “limbic system,” which respond to sensory stimulation such as aromas. Your limbic system connects your nose to the brain, allowing for the aroma that comes from essential oils to produce a mental reaction. When the fragrance from essential oils is inhaled, they reach the top of your nose (known as the olfactory bulb), which is an extension of your limbic system.
So, how does this help you focus?
Certain aromas can trigger memories or emotional responses. Therefore, some essential oils have aromas that encourage your brain to get into focus mode, while others may bring you into a mental state of focus that you associate with that smell.
There are a wide range of essential oils that work differently to help you focus, but the answer is yes - they really can help you focus.
17 Essential Oils For Improved Focus & Concentration
We’ve looked into the vast library of natural essential oils to find the best options to help you improve your focus. Check out our top 17 recommendations below.
Numerous studies show the positive effects of rosemary oil in terms of focus and memory. This 2013 study shows that inhalation of rosemary oil was typically able to arouse the nervous system and brain activity to promote mental clarity and awareness.
Lavender essential oil is most notably used to promote relaxation. However, it also has promising results for improving focus. This oil helps to calm your mind, which helps provide mental clarity.
Also, studies show that lavender can affect the nervous system to help with neurological disorders, as well as increase alertness.
The aroma that comes from peppermint essential oil is very distinct. This scent works to awaken your senses to keep you alert and clear-headed. The smell of peppermint oil stimulates your mind so that you remain focused rather than lacking motivation. Multiple studies also show that peppermint oil helps treat headaches, making it easier to fight fatigue feelings.
Our Mint Essential Oil Inhalers contain a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, and spearmint oils for times when you need some renewed focus.
For people who prefer less intense aromas, cypress oil can be a great option to help improve focus. While it is more commonly used as an antibacterial solution, cypress oil has been shown to provide psychological benefits through aromatherapy.
A 2005 study looked at the benefits of essential oils, including cypress, noting that it can help reduce stress and stimulate the nervous system to improve concentration.
Ylang-ylang oil falls into the category of essential oils known to reduce stress and promote a relaxed mindset. That being said, the benefits of ylang-ylang oil aromatherapy help to clear your mind from distractions for better concentration.
Frankincense essential oil has been shown to indirectly promote focus and creativity by way of balancing the nervous system. When your mind is feeling scattered and distracted by multiple stress factors, frankincense oil can work to provide a calming effect, making it easier for you to focus.
Sandalwood is a very common essential oil used for aromatherapy during meditation sessions or even certain spiritual rituals.
A 2006 study recognized sandalwood essential oil as an effective method to naturally increase attention. In this study, one of the main compounds found in sandalwood (alpha-santalol) was shown to stimulate higher levels of engagement.
If you need a pick-me-up to help you wake up and focus, you might want to ditch the coffee for some vetiver oil instead. When inhaled, this essential oil can help wake up your mind so you can get back on track to begin focusing again. It can improve both alertness & brain function.
There are many essential oil blends made to help improve focus which includes cedarwood for its beneficial properties. Cedarwood oil provides an earthy, comforting scent that relaxes the mind for clear thinking.
Basil essential oil has a unique set of properties that may help regulate certain neurological conditions. It works within the nervous system to reduce stress and improve concentration. Plus, it can help boost your mind’s memory retention (which might be helpful when studying for a big test).
When you’re getting distracted by emotional factors or situations, lemongrass oil can help you refocus. It works to cleanse your mind of those stressful thoughts and feelings, so you can feel more positive and ready to concentrate.
No, lemon oil is not the same as lemongrass oil, even though they can both improve your concentration.
Research shows that lemon oil works well to target depressive symptoms by regulating both dopamine and serotonin levels within the brain. This regulation helps to offer you feelings of peace of mind while also increasing your focus.
You may not realize it, but bergamot is one of the most common ingredients you will find in perfumes. It offers a sweet, comforting aroma that can help pause any stressful feelings in order to balance your mood.
When bergamot oil works to restore your mental function, it also improves your ability to concentrate.
Patchouli essential oil is a helpful method to improve focus in moments of mental disarray. When you start feeling like your emotions are all over the place, are experiencing ADHD symptoms, or feeling riddled with anxiety– the aroma of patchouli oil can help you feel grounded.
A 2002 study showed that inhaling patchouli oil aroma reduced certain body chemicals that are triggered by stress.
Spearmint oil is typically found in essential oil blends that promote focus because of its beneficial effects. Spearmint oil has properties that can improve memory skills and concentration. It can also benefit your mind this way as you grow older.
16. Tea Tree
While it is usually used as a topical treatment, tea tree essential oil offers an uplifting aroma as well. The fresh scent of tea tree oil can help awaken your mind when you are feeling a lack of energy so that you can refocus.
17. Sweet Orange
Sweet orange oil is a notable option for people who are distracted by feelings of anxiety. Suppose you’re overcome with worry to the point that it is distracting you from attending to your responsibilities. In that case, sweet orange oil may help eliminate feelings of anxiety that hold you back.
Ways To Use Essential Oils
There is a long list of ways to use essential oils, but specific methods are preferred, especially when used to improve focus.
Aromatherapy is one of the most common and effective methods for using essential oils. You can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy by using diffusers, sprays, or inhalers. Diffusers are extremely popular and easy to use. Every essential oil diffuser has different instructions, but they typically work by combining the oil with water to diffuse the aroma lightly in the air throughout the day.
You can also try essential oil inhalers to get the benefits of aromatherapy. Inhalers provide a more instant sense of relief when you are looking for a fast-acting solution. Aside from aromatic methods like inhalers & diffusers, some essential oils work through topical use. However, it’s important to remember that some essential oils are very potent and should be used cautiously when applying topically (always check the label for advice).
There are also sprays, bathing salts, face masks, roll ons, body creams, and plenty of other ways to use essential oils. While it may be easy to get distracted by all of the different forms of using essential oils, remember that with the right products - you can clear your mind and regain the focus you need to take on the day.