Essential oils can help boost your focus since they can alleviate the underlying causes related to lower levels of concentration. Many people are unable to focus due to inherent mild cognitive impairments or mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Stress, fatigue and poor sleeping habits can also affect your ability to concentrate [8]. Students, office workers, gamers and other people who have varied sleep schedules or a lot of stress in their lives can improve their concentration using essential oils. Various essential oils can help relieve stress, promote a restful sleep, reduce pain or combat anxiety, all of which can lay the groundwork for your improved focus. There are even essential oils that are specifically effective at increasing concentration and energy levels.

What Can I Do to Improve My Concentration?

In order to improve your concentration, you first need to target the problems that cause your lack of focus. Stress and anxiety are the leading causes of reduced concentration [8], so managing them is crucial for increasing attentiveness. Pain can also inhibit concentration, whether it is from headaches, migraines or other bodily aches. Essential oils can reduce stress, pain and anxiety to allow you to concentrate better, and using essential oils with healthy daily habits can positively impact your life. I have included a few strategies below that can work alongside essential oils to increase your attentiveness and ability to focus.


Mindful meditation can recenter your thoughts after they wander off. A 2018 study found that practicing meditation can also reduce anxiety and stress [8]. You can use essential oils to relax your body and prepare your mind to meditate, which can result in higher levels of tranquility and boost concentration. With practice, you can condition your mind to focus using essential oils as a trigger. Limiting your distractions can also help your body relax while you meditate.

Taking Breaks

Another thing you can do to help with your concentration is to work in chunks and take brain breaks. Research has found that working or studying in blocks of time with breaks in between can increase your concentration because you are able to focus for a set period of time. People can vary greatly in the amount of time they can stay attentive in a single session. Some studies found that concentration sessions can span from 10 minutes to 52 minutes, so you will need to find the best range for your attention and work during your peak [8]. You can use essential oils to enhance your focus and keep it at a higher level. Essential oils can also promote relaxation during your much-needed breaks to allow you to bounce back into focus easier.

Reduce Substances

Caffeine and sugar intake can cause blood sugar spikes and dips, which can decrease your ability to retain your attention on one task. Caffeine specifically can overstimulate your brain, resulting in increased feelings of anxiety and lowered levels of concentration [8]. Some essential oils can boost your mind’s attention to help you focus without the need for caffeine.

Best Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration

When choosing an essential oil to promote focus and attentiveness, you should consider the properties of each one. Some can energize you while others can increase your body’s ability to relax. You can look at your lifestyle to determine which essential oils would work best for your situation, and you can experiment with different ones to create the perfect mixture for yourself. The essential oils I found below are the best ones for improving your focus and concentration.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil can prevent fatigue and improve the body’s ability to exercise according to a small 2013 study [1]. It can help keep you energized and focused. Another study of 144 volunteers from 2008 also found that peppermint can increase memory retention and alertness [3], which is vital for concentration.

Peppermint oil, specifically wintergreen or menthol varieties, can also relieve pain from different kinds of headaches and migraines. A few different studies revealed that people who used peppermint oil had less nausea, less light sensitivity, and a longer period of pain relief than those who took a placebo [10]. If you frequently suffer from tension headaches or migraines, peppermint oil can help alleviate your symptoms to allow you to focus and improve your concentration.

Peppermint oil can affect certain medications by inhibiting specific enzymes, so it is important to talk with a doctor before using it alongside any medications [10].

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil can help increase focus if a lack of attention develops from stress and anxiety. Eucalyptus oil does not have the capability to affect concentration directly like peppermint oil, but it can significantly reduce anxiety and stress. It can decrease the body’s stress response system, which can lower blood pressure and encourage relaxation [2]. Eucalyptus oil can decrease anxiety levels and promote a higher level of focus.

Rosemary Oil

A study from 2012 noted that rosemary essential oil can affect brain wave activities by stimulating the autonomic nervous system [1]. Rosemary oil can positively affect your mood as well, which can lead to increased productivity. When you feel better, you can typically focus more.

According to a different study, rosemary essential oil can also significantly improve image memory and number memorization [4]. Another study, this one from 2018, showed an improvement in memory and the ability to focus after using rosemary among the school children involved [1]. These studies revealed that rosemary essential oil is useful for concentration because it can influence the brain.

Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil is a wonderful way to enhance your concentration while energizing your mood, and it can improve brain function. A 2014 study showed that fourth grade students performed better on their exams when exposed to lemon oil, and a different study from 2008 found that people with Alzheimer’s disease can improve their cognitive function using lemon oil [12].

A study from 2006 revealed lemon oil as a mood-improving agent that produced relaxation symptoms in mice [12], and a 2008 found that lemon oil consistently produced positive moods in people [1]. It can also reduce anxiety and stress according to a small 2016 study [12]. By decreasing the amount of stress you feel and increasing your mood, lemon oil can help you focus for longer periods of time.

Lemon oil can potentially help pain. Recurring pain can hinder your ability to concentrate, so removing that obstacle can help you focus. In 2014, a study involving mice showed that lemon oil can affect the way an animal’s brain responds to pain. There is not much data on how lemon oil can relieve pain in humans, but this characteristic may be the reason lemon oil can work as a stress relief agent [12].

Holy Basil Oil

Holy basil can act as an adaptogen, and it can also improve the endurance of animals [6]. Adaptogens are plants that can aid the body’s ability to resist and adapt to physical, chemical or biological stressors. This means that the body can reduce its physical response to different kinds of stress using these plants. Using holy basil oil can help reduce stress and provide a platform for concentration to thrive.

Sweet Orange and Spearmint Oil

Stimulating the body through exercise can help improve concentration, and a study in 2016 found that sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) can improve your body’s athletic capabilities [1]. Although you probably are not going to run around a track to improve your concentration, you can still use sweet orange and spearmint essential oils to boost your concentration by increasing your body’s athletic ability.

Orange essential oil can also reduce anxiety. A study from 2013 revealed a connection between orange oil and reduced levels of stress hormones, and a 2015 study concluded that orange oil can relieve anxiety. Mice who used orange essential oil showed fewer signs of depression during a 2017 study [11]. By reducing stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression, orange oil can provide you the opportunity to increase your concentration.

Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is unique because it can reduce anxiety while increasing mental alertness. A small study found that sandalwood oil can deactivate behavioral responses while simultaneously activating a physiological response. This means that it can induce calm feelings and enhance mental functions [7]. Due to these characteristics, sandalwood oil is a great essential oil to use for focus and concentration because it can alleviate anxiety while increasing attentiveness.

Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil can improve short-term memory and relax the body, which could result in higher levels of concentration. One study found that lavender, like rosemary, can significantly increase image memory [4].

Although there are not many large-scale studies available that support lavender oil’s ability to reduce anxiety, multiple smaller studies have concluded that lavender can increase relaxation [4]. Various studies from 2005, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 have found that lavender can improve people’s mood and lessen their levels of anxiety and stress [9]. Lavender essential oil can decrease anxiety levels to promote relaxation, which can then increase concentration and focus.

Lavender oil has also received several studies showcasing its ability to fight insomnia and help people sleep. College students were able to sleep better when they included lavender oil alongside their other sleep hygiene techniques in a 2015 study. Since they received a good night’s sleep, they displayed an increased amount of energy during the day. A study from 2018 also showed lavender oil’s ability to promote sleep quality and duration [9]. Lack of sleep or sleep quality problems can negatively affect concentration, so using lavender essential oil can increase your attention levels by providing you with a good night’s sleep.

Cypress Oil

A study from 2015 focused on different essential oils mixed with an almond carrier oil and found that cypress oil can significantly reduce anxiety and depression levels in both a psychological and physical capacity. The study was extremely small [5], so the benefits of cypress oil are not well known. Cypress oil may help increase attentiveness by decreasing anxiety.

How to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are available for many uses to match your lifestyle. You can mix essential oils with lotion or dilute them with a carrier oil. Once you dilute your essential oil, you can massage it into your skin. Common carrier oils include coconut oil, almond oil and avocado oil [1].

Diluting essential oils is an essential step before applying them to your skin. Essential oils are extremely concentrated, so they can irritate your skin if used directly from their bottles.

You can also inhale essential oils [1]. Oil diffusers are a fantastic way to incorporate essential oils into your home.

Final Thoughts

Essential oils are a fantastic addition to your lifestyle. They can increase your concentration by alleviating the underlying causes of low attentiveness. The inability to focus usually comes from anxiety and stress, but lack of quality sleep or overstimulation can also contribute to lower levels of concentration. Essential oils can increase relaxation to combat anxiety and stress and promote positive sleep quality. They can also provide physiological stimuli to improve endurance and athletic ability, which can then boost your body’s performance. Some essential oils can reduce pain as well. Pain reduction, especially relief from headache or migraine pain, can positively impact your ability to concentrate. Essential oils can help you focus in a variety of ways.