Can You Improve Your Focus By Using Certain Essential Oils?


If you have trouble concentrating on complex tasks, or you find that you just can’t focus on your work, then you have a few options for improving your mental clarity. Good sleep habits and careful diet changes can help you to think more clearly, but you sometimes need a bit more of a helping hand than that. If the possibility of random headaches or other side-effects from nootropics is off-putting for you, then you may find that something simpler and milder, such as essential oils, could be beneficial for you.

Improve your focusAromatherapy and Focus

You can use essential oils for concentration boosting. There have been a lot of studies done looking into the idea of essential oils and focus. Essential oils are rich in plant compounds which can boost your mental clarity and your mood, help you sleep better, make you more alert, reduce anxiety, and have many other potential benefits.  The compounds within the essential oils are called terpenes, and they are very small molecules which can cross the blood-brain barrier quite easily. Because of this, they can have quite an impact on the brain, helping people to think more clearly, feel calmer, sleep better, or focus better, depending on the compound chosen.

If you find that your mind sometimes wanders when you’re trying to work, and you want something that will help you to feel a little bit more awake and alert, and help you clear your head so that your mind is no longer racing, then essential oils could be the answer.  Let’s take a look at some of the best essential oils for boosting focus:


This resinous, earthy oil is a great option for people who need something to clear their heads. It is often mixed with other oils to create powerful blends for calming and relaxation. It promotes better sleep, and it levels out your moods. It’s also good for relieving stress, anxiety and panic attacks. When you’re feeling calm, you’ll be able to think much more clearly. One study looked at the use of frankincense to help rats with Alzheimer’s disease and found that exposure to frankincense did help to reduce symptoms.1

lemon treeLemon

Citrus essential oils are uplifting and can help to reduce the effects of stress. They can also be helpful for people who suffer from attention deficit disorder. Lemon and other citrus oils can help to regulate dopamine and serotonin levels, which can be useful for helping someone who has anxiety or depression to focus properly in day to day life. Lemon scents can be used in various room sprays and blends to create a more uplifting environment. One study into the use of lemon balm found that short-term exposure to the scent offered improved memory, and increased calmness. The stronger the scent, the better the effect.2

Vetiver Vetiver

Vetiver is a powerful essential oil that has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘oil of tranquility’. It has an exotic, sweet fragrance and it is often used for meditation. It is a popular aromatherapy oil, and it can help to reduce panic attacks, anxiety, stress, and trauma. One study conducted in 2001 found that when children with ADHD inhaled vetiver daily for 30 days, their symptoms reduced significantly.


Peppermint is a good essential oil for improving focus and mental clarity, as well as for reducing food cravings. It can help to improve cognition and memory and learning capacity. There have been several studies conducted into the benefits of peppermint oil, with researchers consistently finding that it improves alertness and memory.4

Lavenderlavender field

Lavender is a good essential oil for calming anxiety and reducing stress. It is often used as a sleep aid, and it has been found to be beneficial for treating restlessness, improving sleep quality, and reducing anxiety. It is the calming properties of lavender which can help to improve a person’s mental focus. Some people suffer from task paralysis and struggle to think clearly when they have pressing deadlines or a lot to get done. In those cases, reducing overall anxiety 5can be hugely beneficial for improving mental performance.


Patchouli has been a popular essential oil in aromatherapy for many years, to the point that some people now feel that it is over-used. That said, it can be a nice addition to a lot of aromatherapy blends. Patchouli can be helpful for fighting negative emotions and can promote calm and relaxation. It is often used to ease tension, and to stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine. It is a good choice for people who are finding that they cannot concentrate under pressure.6


Cypress essential oil is a refreshing oil that is used to ground people and help them to stay focused. It is a popular meditation aid and can help to improve focus and mental clarity.  Adding a few drops of this essential oil to a diffuser can help to create a grounding and refreshing working environment.


Rosemary essential oil is sometimes used in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia because it is a powerful cognitive enhancer. It has a distinctive scent, and it has been found to help people to remember things more easily. Some people use this oil as a memory aid by massaging a few drops into their hands while they think about things that they need to get done that day. This ‘ritual’ helps to cement the list of tasks into your mind, making it easier to recall the tasks and focus on them later.

Basil Oilbasil

Basil is another useful oil which has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It helps to sharpen the mind and to improve memory, as well as help to make the mind more resistant to fatigue-induced distractions. It can boost alertness and concentration, and it’s a good short-term boost for those days when you simply cannot switch on.  It is a stimulant, but a mild one, so unlike, say, caffeine, it will help you to get back on track with your day to day jobs, without leaving you in a situation where you can’t sleep that night due to overstimulation.


Sage is another essential oil which is sometimes used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. It works by enhancing the function of neurotransmitters and improving the part of the brain that is responsible for transferring signals. Sage essential oil essentially makes the brain ‘switch back on’. Research shows that inhaling sage can help to improve memory function and slow down cognitive decline.

Great Essential Oil Blends for Mental Clarity

Combining essential oils can be a good way to boost your mental clarity and your feeling of wellbeing. Minty and woody oils can go together to create a calming, soothing and yet invigorating blend, while fruity and citrus oils can combine to give you a pick-me-up and some mental clarity when you need to do some decision making. FOCUS MONQ is one such nootropic essential oil blend.

How to Use Essential Oilsimprove your focus

Essential oils are very versatile. You can apply them or use them in a number of different ways:

Massage Oil

If you’re feeling stressed and struggling to get started, then you might want to try using a topical treatment. Add two to three drops of your chosen essential oil to a carrier oil, and then massage it into your skin. This provides the double benefit of a nice relaxing massage with a moisturizing oil and the benefits of the scent.

Bath Oils

You can add a couple of drops of your favorite focus-enhancing essential oil to your bath, or put a couple of drops onto the wall of your shower, and then let the steam vaporize the oil so that you can enjoy the scent. This is another way to give yourself a quick boost in the morning or to help your mind calm down at night.

Room Sprays

Some woody oils work well as room sprays. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a bottle full of distilled water (be sure to use distilled water, not tap water), and then spritz the area for a natural air freshener that will help to clear your head.

Room Diffusers

An essential oil diffuser can be a useful addition to your office. There are reed diffusers and electronic diffusers. Reed diffusers are a nice natural way of releasing essential oils, but you cannot really control how rapidly the oil dissipates in the room. Some oils evaporate very quickly, creating an overpowering scent. Electronic diffusers are compact and will control the release of the aroma a little better, which makes them a good choice for strong scents and large rooms.

Directly Inhaling the Scent

You can directly inhale the scent of your chosen essential oil to enjoy the scent “on demand.” This is a good option if you work in an office and other people don’t like the scents that you are using, or complain that they are too strong. Simply put a few drops of the oil onto a tissue, and breathe it a few times per day when you need a mental pick me up.

Natural Brain Boosters

Essential oils can play a valuable role in improving memory, concentration, and cognition, and they also have nootropic properties, although in a milder fashion than a dedicated nootropic drug. They are generally safe if used as intended. One should be careful about ingesting essential oils or rubbing them on an area of cracked or broken skin. Use a carrier oil before massaging essential oils into your skin, and do not ingest concentrated oils at all. Remember that these oils can have a measurable impact in aromatic use.

Essential oils can be powerful brain boosters. Indeed, it’s possible that some of the benefits of using essential oils come not from the oil itself, but from the ritual of taking deep breaths, meditating, or the familiarity of the scent that you breathe. Simply going through the process starts up a series of thoughts and gets your brain into ‘the zone’. This is something that is frequently seen in sports.

Many top sportspeople have rituals that they perform before a match or event, and the way that they follow them could be seen as being superstitious, but the rituals have benefit for them. They give the players a feeling of control, and this means that they are more likely to be able to perform well. Researchers agree that there are clear benefits to essential oils, claiming that those who swear by them are not purely benefiting from the ‘placebo effect’, but rather that real effects are being seen.

Essential oils can be great for improving your focus as well as improving your mental stamina and allowing you to work longer and pay closer attention to the task at hand. They can help to lift away stress so that you can sleep better, and can help you to function well throughout the day. By adding just a little essential oil into your daily routine, you can begin to see the positive changes that occur when giving your body that little extra boost.

To check out more essential oil blends designed to help amplify your life, check out the shop to see which MONQ blend might be right for you.

Photo Credits: colors/, wasanajai/, NataliiaPolitova/, AnnyStudio/, leonori/


By Jesse Waddell

Jesse is a writer and editor who enjoys being surrounded by the scents and relief that essential oils can provide. When he is not busy writing he can be found practicing the guitar and playing with his Yorkie named Little Terpene.

Favorite MONQ blend: Mountain

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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