There are times when we all need to increased focus to get something done, learn a new concept, or achieve a goal. Or when everything around us seems chaotic or out of control, leaving us feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, and ineffective.
Essential oils are a great help to us in these situations, whether it’s to clear our minds, clarify our thoughts, provide grounding, increase retention of information, or offer a boost of energy. Here are some of my favorites to foster an additional measure of focus and concentration.
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Rosemary is refreshing, cooling, and clearing. It energizes, uplifts, and increases alertness, leaving you feeling sharper and less mentally sluggish. Rosemary clears the sinuses, helping us to breathe deeply and get our mental energy going. It is the best essential oil for boosting memory, as it increases mental power and clarity, helping you concentrate on tasks to the end. It is also known to relieve nervous tension and mental fatigue. Rosemary blends well with Basil, Lavender, Lime, Spearmint, and Peppermint.
Basil is useful when you are experiencing overwhelm, extreme tiredness, burnout, low energy, or difficulty coping with stress. It clears your head, relaxes your mind, uplifts your mood, and increases energy levels and motivation. Basil also clears your nasal pathways and promotes easier breathing, allowing you to take in more oxygen, which promotes increased blood flow and oxygenation of the brain. At the same time, it stimulates your adrenal glands, which plays a vital role in relieving mental fatigue, stress, anxious feelings, or nervousness. Basil blends well with Lime, Spearmint, Peppermint, and Rosemary.
Refreshing and invigorating, Peppermint increases mental clarity and focus, while increasing the body’s overall level of energy. Peppermint blends well with Spearmint, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, and Rosemary. Try my favorite diffuser blend to combat the afternoon slump: 2 drops Rosemary + 2 drops Lemon + 1 drop Peppermint. [NOTE: Use Spearmint, a milder mint essential oil, in place of Peppermint for young children.]
Vetiver promotes focus, concentration, and mental performance. It has a calming and grounding effect that is good for those who are distracted due to stress or lack of sleep. This oil has been proven to improve concentration by up to 32 percent! Here’s a useful article on the benefits of Vetiver essential oil. Apply this oil topically to feet, base of neck, or collarbone. Vetiver blends well with Lavender, Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang.
Frankincense is known to decrease mental chatter, alleviate worry, and still the mind, promoting feelings of peace and relaxation. Its calm, centered presence is skilled at clarifying thoughts, so in addition to feeling sharper and more present, we can relax and focus on your task. Frankincense blends well with Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Peppermint, and Sandalwood.
Cedarwood relaxes and soothes the mind and body. Its calming nature encourages the mind to slow down and focus, which helps maximize concentration. It contains a high level of sesquiterpenes, chemical compounds that increase oxygenation to the brain, enabling it to perform better. It also stimulates the brain’s limbic region and pineal gland, which encourages the release of melatonin, improving your quality of sleep and helping you feel energized in the morning. Cedarwood blends well with Bergamot, Copaiba, Cypress, Lavender, and Juniper Berry.
Lemon’s fresh, clean aroma is useful for cleansing the mind of clutter and useless thoughts, leaving you feeling fresh and energized. Its uplifting nature actively fights depression and improves a sour mood. Lemon blends well with Peppermint, Basil, Rosemary, and Siberian Fir.
Wild Orange (Sweet Orange) is a go-to oil for awakening the senses and increasing focus, energy, and motivation. It stabilizes your mood and uplifts emotions that may be affecting focus and productivity. Wild Orange also helps you take a more relaxed approach to situations and adapt to change more easily. For increased clarity and energy, try combining it with Frankincense and Peppermint. Wild Orange blends well with Cinnamon, Lavender, Neroli, Peppermint, and Siberian Fir.
Lime positively effects the mood and hones focus. It blends well with Bergamot, Black Pepper, and Rosemary.
Grapefruit’s uplifting and energizing aroma is one of the best essential oils for boosting energy levels and motivation to complete the task at hand. It blends well with Basil, Neroli, Peppermint, and Rosemary.
Lemongrass brightens the mood and helps declutter the mind. It is energetically electrifying, regenerating, and purifying. Lemongrass blends well with Basil, Ginger, Peppermint, and Siberian Fir.
Cardamom opens the breath and encourages circulation throughout the body.
Invigorating yet relaxing, it helps you breathe more deeply and gets your mental energy going, which results in feeling sharper and less sluggish. Cardamom blends well with Clove, Lavender, and Peppermint.
Eucalyptus is refreshing and stimulating to the brain. It improves energy levels and clears the mind. Eucalyptus blends well with Cardamom, Peppermint, and Rosemary.
Lavender supports mental adaptability and performance. It helps you focus on the task at hand, reduces anxious feelings, and soothes mental irritation. It’s calming and relaxing properties ease feelings of tension and also promote an improved mood and restful sleep. Lavender blends well with Clary Sage, Frankincense, and Wild Orange.
Clary Sage supports a calm, clear, and focused mind. It blends well with Geranium, Lavender, Neroli, and Ylang Ylang.
InTune is a roller bottle blend of Amyris, Patchouli, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, and Roman Chamomile. It enhances and sustains a sense of concentration and focus. It is also excellent for calming and grounding, alleviating anxious feelings or overwhelming sadness, overly active children, and those under significant stress.
Though this blend is part of doTERRA’s collection of roller bottles for children, Thinker is great for adults as well! Thinker contains Vetiver, Clementine, Peppermint, and Rosemary. It helps prevent mental distraction, instills a sense of alertness and focus, and helps reduce feelings of mental stress.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO IMPROVE FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
Diffuse 4 – 10 drops (depending on size of room, power of diffuser, and age of individuals present) of a single oil or blend (see the end of this post for a variety of diffuser blend ideas!). Inhale essential oil(s) directly from the bottle or an aromatherapy inhaler. Or apply to diffuser jewelry.
Apply properly diluted with a carrier oil on forehead, back of neck (especially in suboccipital triangles), chest, or under nose. Can also drip 1 drop on the pad of your thumb and press it to the roof of your mouth. USAGE TIP: If you find a blend of oils you’d like to use regularly, it’s convenient to premix them in a roller bottle for quick application and easy transport. I typically use fractionated coconut oil in blends that will be applied near clothing or sheets, as it absorbs quickly and doesn’t stain. Below are some roller bottle blends ideas to get your started. Know you need essential oils in your life, but not sure which ones might be best to start with? Let a certified aromatherapist (that's me!) help you figure it out! Click here to schedule a time for us to chat by phone. Prefer email? You can connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.