Athletes describe it as being “in the zone.” Race car drivers say that they are “dialed in.” Artists, writers, musicians, and creators describe it as “flow.” We are all referencing the same glorious phenomenon.
We are talking about being in a state of intensely singular attention where we become fully absorbed and present in what we are doing or creating. In this state, we are one with the task and the task feels nearly effortless. Success seems to come naturally and to be assured.
This state is the pinnacle of success and productivity. It is the ultimate level of what we call focus.
Why Essential Oils Enhance Our Focus?
The beauty of essential oils is that they have a holistic mind-body impact.
On a physical level, the aromatic molecules of essential oils cross the blood-brain barrier and benefit our bodies. Mentally they revitalize and replenish our intellectual reserves. Emotionally, essential oils have the power to encourage, uplift, and motivate us.
These modalities function synergistically to improve our overall level of focus.
Best Essential Oils For Focus
1 Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica)
Do you have a cedar chest where you keep treasured keepsakes like your wedding gown, baby’s first outfit, and grandmother’s comforter? Picture yourself opening that chest and taking a deep breath. As the smell of cedarwood washes over you, your mind stills and focuses in on the precious memories held in that chest.
We can recreate that mental calm and singular focus without having to carry around a large cedar chest. The essential oil pressed from cedarwood embodies the same transformative powers and will free us to direct our focus wherever we choose.
Best for: when your mind is darting around and needs to find stillness.
2. Clove Bud (Syzygium aromanticum)
Alongside cinnamon, clove is one of the most quintessential of fall scents. It is cozy and warm and brings back all sorts of delightful memories of autumns past. How does that help with focus?
Clove bud sparks our memories and as our brains access those memories, it feels like exercising a muscle. That muscle grows stronger and we become more proficient at using it. When our brains are working quickly and efficiently, it is easier to focus on whatever we choose.
Best for: Use when struggling with remembering important facts
3. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Our homes, offices, and desks aren’t the only things that can get messy and blow our ability to focus. Unless we are very intentional about tackling and eliminating mental clutter, our minds themselves can become clogged and bogged down by excess baggage.
We need an oil that will come through and sweep away all that chaos, purifying and cleansing to leave us with a fresh, clear, focused mind. Hyssop is just that type of oil!
Best for: When your brain feels cluttered and messy.
4. Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
One of the key components of focus is putting ourselves in a productive mindset. If we go into a project feeling energized and motivated, we are signaling our brains to do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal.
What do you feel when you imagine the crisp, fresh, citrusy scent of lime? Does it remind you of key lime pie, a lime cooler at the beach, the aroma of a freshly cleaned kitchen? Lime’s bright sparkling notes are inspiring and motivational. She will set you up for success in whatever you need to tackle.
Best for: Use at the start of a long, daunting project.
5. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Cool, tingly, refreshing, revitalizing – these are some of the words that come to mind when we think of peppermint. Before we can hope to dial in that laser focus, we need to wake up our brains and get them energized.
Peppermint zings through our senses and signals our entire body that it is time to be productive and accomplish great things.
Best for: Waking your brain or to re-energize during the day.
6. Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
If you were hiking a trail through a pine forest right now and you paused to take a deep breath, how would that breath make you feel? What is it about hiking and camping in the coniferous forests that we find so rewarding and rejuvenating?
The scent of pine harmonizes us with nature. As we breathe it in we feel refreshed and revitalized by all the energetic goodness of this oil. Pine stimulates our circulation and gets more oxygenated blood flowing to our neural synapses. This primes our brain for optimal focus.
Best for: When you are feeling stagnant and mentally bottled up.
7. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Herbs are some of the happiest most vibrant ingredients in our kitchen. There’s a reason so many stores sell the “grow your own herb garden” kits with basil, rosemary and thyme. These herbs are healthy for not just our bodies but also for our whole being.
Rosemary in particular is an amazing all-around brain booster. She aids with mental clarity, concentration, and memory.
Best for: When you find yourself unable to focus
8. Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Many cultures have used sage in cleansing and purification rituals. When our brains are feeling a sluggishness that prevent us from thinking, remembering, creating, and focusing as well as we would like, sage can help us.
Sage helps wake up our brains and clean out the mental cobwebs so we can function at our best. Try inhaling the scent before a networking or public speaking session.
Best for: Improving word recall.
9. Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
It would be nice if we could always just stop and take a break when our brains get tired. Unfortunately few of us are blessed to be able to enjoy that type of schedule. Too often we have to push through and keep working regardless of our cognitive state.
Sweet basil can really help us through those tough times. This oil clears our minds and also alleviates mental fatigue. She gives us that little extra edge we need to power on and regain our focus.
Best for: Regaining focus when you need to push through
10. Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
Some days we feel like we have been doing everything we can to focus from getting enough sleep to eating healthy to planning and visualizing our project’s success.
Still, when we sit down to really dig into working on the project, our focus is darting all over. Things that have no relevance to our work project and aren’t immediately pressing concerns, take up space in our heads.
Enter vetiver essential oil. Vetiver is impressively effective at corralling scattered thoughts and getting us back to a place of focus. Doctors and researchers have studied and recommended this oil as a means of reducing symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Best for: Resetting a scattered mind
How To Use Essential Oils For Focus +Recipes
One of the easiest and most effective ways to use essential oils for improving focus is diffusion. Diffusion is simple to do throughout the day whether by means of a diffuser necklace, reed diffuser, or water diffuser.
We can also incorporate our favorite focus boosting oils into our beauty routine products like face washes and perfumes.
At the end of a long day, a soak in a tub with just the right blend of oils can replenish our mental reserves and ready us for the next day’s challenges.
Motivated Morning Face Wash Recipe
- 2 tablespoons of oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of jojoba carrier oil
- 2 drops lime
- 2 drops peppermint
Grind up the oatmeal using a blender or food processor. Remove from blender and stir in the honey and oils. Apply this mixture to your face using clean fingers (be sure to avoid eye area). Let sit for up to 20 minutes while you plan and visualize your day.
Rinse face with cool water and pat dry.
To use this recipe after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, replace the peppermint essential oil with lemon essential oil.
Calm Clarity Cologne Recipe
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 1 ½ tablespoons sweet almond carrier oil
- 1 drop hyssop
- 4 drops cedarwood atlas
- 5 drops vetiver
In a double boiler melt the beeswax into the sweet almond oil. Remove from heat and add the essential oils. Mix well and pour into containers. Allow to cool until solid.
Use as you would a normal solid perfume. Eliminate the hyssop essential oil if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy.
Mid-Afternoon Moisturizer Recipe
- 2 ounces unscented lotion
- 10 drops pine
- 6 drops sweet basil
Mix the lotion with the essential oils. And you are ready to moisturize! Keep the lotion in a glass jar.
Don’t Forget Diffusion Blend
Use this blend when you absolutely depend on your focus!
- 4 drops sage
- 4 drops rosemary
- 2 drops clove bud
Plug in your diffuser and pour in distilled water up to the fill line. Add the oil blend. Turn on the diffuser.
Set timer if desired.
Build Me Up Bath Oil Recipe
- 2 tablespoons jojoba carrier oil
- 4 drops lavender
- 4 drops lime
Run a warm bath. Add the oil blend and relax in the tub for at least 20 minutes.
- Focus is “directed attention” or “a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding.”
- Essential oils have a holistic mind-body impact which helps to improve our ability to focus.
- We can bring focus to our day by incorporating essential oils into some of our favorite products.
- Use one of our recipe or blend suggestions when you depend on a focused mind!