What happens when you breathe in the scent of a rose?
Or catch a whiff of your favorite fragrance?
How do you feel?
It’s a proven fact that aromatherapy can have a positive effect on our minds.
Countless studies have shown how essential oils help people to relax, overcome pain, and deal with grief.
Studies done with people that have attention deficit disorder demonstrate how oils can help them concentrate.
But not all fragrances are equally effective.
Let’s talk about one that has a proven track record.
Rosemary Improves Cognitive Performance
A study published in 2012 revealed that the aroma of rosemary essential oil improved thinking (1).
Indeed, rosemary is one of the best essential oils for focus.
It also improves mood.
While you should be careful while using rosemary around children, it’s appropriate for teens and adults.
Diffuse rosemary essential oil before you do your taxes.
Use it to help your teenagers get homework done.
And enjoy it anytime you need to be especially alert, yet relaxed.
Vetiver for ADHD
The grassy, woodsy scent of vetiver is commonly found in men’s cologne. It’s a popular base note.
Interestingly, vetiver may help children with ADHD stay focused.
A study published by a physician measured the brainwaves of children who were diagnosed with ADHD while they inhaled three different essential oils.
The three oils were lavender, cedarwood, and vetiver.
The children who smelled vetiver had a noticeable improvement in focus and also behavior at home (2).
Bergamot and Autism
Did you know that autism may affect as many as one in every 59 children? (3)
One common symptom of autism is high anxiety.
Fortunately, bergamot is one of the best essential oils for lowering stress and anxiety.
It has a cheerful fragrance similar to grapefruit.
Frankincense and chamomile may also be soothing aromas for autistic people.
Peppermint to Perk up Your Mood
The powerful aroma of peppermint oil can calm restlessness and uplift your mood.
If you find peppermint too strong, try spearmint instead.
Both of these essential oils can trigger positive emotion.
Lavender to Unwind at Bedtime
It’s hard to get to sleep if your mind doesn’t calm down.
Diffuse lavender about an hour before bedtime and dim the lights.
Make sure your bedroom temperature is cool enough to be comfortable.
Before you know it, you may find that this bedtime ritual is essential to help you sleep better.
3 Steps to Maximize Your Thinking Power
If you’d like to think more clearly, remember things better, and feel calmer, here’s how to do it.
Step one: relax
Being stressed out is the number one way to end up scatterbrained.
Instead, take a deep breath, then take another one, and drop your shoulders away from your earlobes.
Give yourself a little neck massage or ask someone to rub your shoulders.
Step two: take care of physical needs
Hunger is a sure way to lose your focus.
Have a snack, or at least drink some water.
Go to the bathroom if you’ve been putting it off.
Check the temperature and humidity as well as the lighting to make sure you’re comfortable.
Step three: aromatherapy
Set up your diffuser and select oils.
Enjoy a blend of vetiver, lavender, and cedarwood to stay calm while you study.
Or pump out straight rosemary to clear out the cobwebs.
Bergamot or sweet orange will brighten up a depressing day while cypress will help you feel grounded and ready to tackle a challenge.
Aromas Affect Us More than We Realize
If you’re still feeling a little skeptical, try this test. You don’t need to buy any essential oils or diffuser for it.
In the beginning, assess your mood.
Now, put a couple of cups of water in a small saucepan. Add a cinnamon stick and three cloves.
If you’re not a fan of spices, skip those and put an entire orange or lemon peel in the water instead.
Bring the water to a boil, then immediately lower it to a simmer for up to five minutes.
How does the aroma make you feel?
Take advantage of your new understanding to help change your mood and mindset when necessary.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918/ by Mark Moss, et al., published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, June 2012, accessed October 8, 2019
3. https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-autism#benefits by Diana Wells, published June 15, 2018, accessed October 8, 2019