Essential oils are known to help with focus and concentration or to give an extra boost of energy and motivation.
Research indicates for example that the scent of peppermint and cinnamon can enhance motivation, performance, and alertness, decrease fatigue, and serve as central nervous system stimulants.
We’ve all been there. You have a fully packed schedule but your focus and concentration start to drop. You have a huge task list to complete but your energy and motivation are low. Or maybe your kids keep zoning out and can’t concentrate anymore during their homework.
We’ve all experienced troubles with focus and concentration but luckily, essential oils can be great everyday allies in regaining our focus and energies.
Essential oils are concentrated compounds extracted from plants, generally through distillation, by using steam or by other mechanical methods such as cold pressing.
The term “essential” comes from the fact that an essential oil contains the essence of a plant’s fragrance, hence the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.
Essential oils are commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy, to help with focus, concentration, motivation, energy boosting and also to induce relaxation or help to sleep. But, they are also commonly used in perfumes, cosmetics, incense, soaps, air fresheners and household cleaning products, and also as a flavoring in food and drinks. Essential oils are typically inhaled, either directly out of the bottle or by using a diffuser or humidifier, or diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin.
If you’re planning on using essential oils, it’s important to remember that some are very potent and should be used cautiously. Therefore, it’s always important to first check for any possible allergic reaction and look for professional advice.
Keep reading to learn which essential oils you can use to help improve your focus and concentration and to boost your energy levels and your motivation.
The scent of peppermint increases alertness, boosts motivation and can also increase your confidence, speed and energy. A study with athletes has even shown that those who had a sniff of peppermint performed better overall than those who didn’t.
Peppermint essential oil also improves memory, concentration and clear thinking. Already in the 90s, research found that a whiff of peppermint helped test subjects concentrate and do better on tasks that required sustained concentration. This makes peppermint scent a great asset during tests in class or during a brainstorming session at work.
The most common citrus fruits include lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. Besides lemon being very healthy and beneficial for your diet, lemon essential oil has some special superpowers.
Lemon can first and foremost lift your mood. Studies found that inhaling lemon scent keeps norepinephrine levels elevated. Norepinephrine is an organic chemical in the catecholamine family that functions in the human brain and body as a hormone and neurotransmitter, and low levels of norepinephrine are associated with lack of energy and focus, sleep disorders and mood damping.
This makes it the perfect scent for the morning to kick start your day in an energizing way.
Rosemary scent is the memory booster. Researchers at Northumbria University have proven that adults performed 15% better at memory tasks if the room was rosemary scented.
Another study found that inhaling rosemary oil showed an increase in beta waves in the frontal region, which means higher alertness and thus beneficial during cognitive tasks. After the test, the test subjects also felt more fresh and active.
Rosemary scent, as well as citrus scent, seem to be the perfect scent to help you wake up in the morning or, due to its enhancing capabilities, the perfect scent to energize people in class, or during study sessions or workshops.
Lemongrass is a plant often used in beverages and also as a flavoring in food and herbal teas.
A study confirmed that lemongrass essential oil can help improve cognitive performance in terms of longer attention span and better quality of memory, and increase mood in terms of alertness and calmness.
Cedarwood scent is great for focus. Its oil contains more than 50% of sesquiterpenes, a chemical that delivers oxygen to your brain cells.
Cedarwood scent was used in the same study as above and showed very good results in treating children with ADHD.
The smell of cinnamon can have a very positive effect on cognitive tasks, enhancing in particular memory and alertness.
A study found that cinnamon improved participants’ scores on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed.
In another study, that tested participants during simulated driving, found that the scent of cinnamon makes you more alert and boosts your brain function.