Guest post written by Alison Guest
What is attention? Each person hears and listens, sees and looks, analyzes the environment, draws conclusions, makes certain decisions about it and communicates with it.
Attention is an important cognitive process of a person, a special concentration of consciousness on an object that is in focus. Willingness to act, alertness, vigilance are all manifestations of attention. Attention is closely related to the practical activity of a person, working in tandem with perception, conditioned by interest, it allows for a deep analysis of what is happening around, and is a way of receiving information from the outside, as well as sight, speech, touch, hearing.
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Attention is voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary attention is consciously directed attention to something, for example, to the interlocutor, to the screen when watching a movie, to the material during training, to the meaning of the book when reading. Involuntary attention is associated with reflex attitudes. This is a passive version of attention, manifested in concentration on a sudden sharp clap, noise, on the feeling of hunger.
Voluntary attention, which requires some kind of volitional effort, can be regulated, it can be controlled during stress or in a stressful situation, for example, when a person is driving a car.
The aromas of some essential oils will help maintain concentration in situations that are necessary and important for a person.
Let’s consider essential oils for studying
What are fragrances? Fragrances are volatile chemical constituents with a specific molecular weight. Scent molecules are perceived and analyzed by the olfactory system, then electrical signals are generated, which are transmitted to the brain by olfactory sensory neurons. Hence, electrical signals modulate brain functions including memory, emotion, and attention.
Japanese scientists M. Kawakami, Sh. Aoki and T. Okubo (2000) studied the effect of fragrances on human activity and found that jasmine, ylang-ylang, mint and rose are essential oils that tone the human attention, while essential oils lavender and sandalwood oils have a sedative effect and reduce the level of concentration.
Jasmine scent is one of the most romantic and highly demanded at all times. There is a delicious and precious jasmine absolute. Its bright, unforgettable, warm aroma tends to evaporate for a long time and will help keep your attention in good shape for a long time during the exam. It will also become an indispensable tool for increasing concentration of attention when performing complex tasks in the office, while studying.
It should be noted that overdose jasmine oil can cause nausea and dizziness. It should be used, like other essential oils, carefully, strictly observing the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. When the purpose of using jasmine absolute is precisely the concentration of attention, and not the charm of the opposite sex (jasmine and ylang-ylang are powerful aphrodisiacs), it is recommended to use aromaculon, where you can drop just 1 of this magic oil.
If you happen to stay all alone in the office at work, you can afford to drop a couple of drops of jasmine oil or ylang-ylang oil on the aroma stone. Thanks to their diverse design, aroma stones fit perfectly into the ergonomics of the desktop and delight the eye of their owner. If you wish, you can use an aroma diffuser, and at home you can use, in addition to the above-mentioned accessories, a familiar aroma lamp.
Ylang-ylang oil, with a mild sedative effect, calms the nervous system, harmonizes mental activity, and grants deep concentration of attention.
Peppermint essential oil helps to calm the nervous system and revitalize the brain, while rose oil will not only help keep your attention in good shape, but also fight overwork.
American scientists MA Diego, NA Jones, T. Pole (2003), studying the effect of essential oils on human mood, noted that rosemary essential oil significantly increases alertness, promotes memorization and understanding of information.
The amazing smell of lemon verbena oil also helps to increase concentration. Verbena oil will provide peer to students in lectures, maintain confidence in answering exams, and relieve anxiety. In the summer, you should not use this oil in the sun, because it has a phototoxic effect.
Geranium essential oil effectively promotes concentration, reducing depression and emotional clamps, and reduces stress levels.
A ready-made mixture of essential oils of lemongrass, fir, grapefruit and spearmint helps not only maintain concentration, but also keep mental activity in good shape and relieve nervous tension.
Fragrant eucalyptus and radiant eucalyptus oils help to concentrate on important information and effectively relieve fatigue, tone the nervous system and activate brain activity.
With the help of basil essential oil, you can clear your mind, get rid of negative “litter” of thoughts, and improve perception and concentration. Basil has an intense spicy scent. Only 1 per aroma pendant or aroma stone will be enough to mobilize concentration and maintain the tone of the nervous system.
It should be noted that in case of an overdose, basil oil gives the opposite, depressing effect on the nervous system. The essential oil of creeping thyme (thyme) will promptly relieve distraction of attention, fatigue, apathy. It, like basil oil, has a pronounced spicy smell, and 1 per aroma pendant will be enough.
Litsei oil, having an unusual aroma, similar to caramel, increases concentration, activates mental activity and has a powerful tonic effect on the entire human body. It will help drivers concentrate on the road at night and have a positive effect on visual acuity.
Patchouli essential oil can be used to improve concentration while working at a computer or performing routine tasks. In terms of its volatility, patchouli oil is “heavy” and retains its earthy warm aroma for a long time.
Saro and Bey essential oils will provide composure and improve alertness, relieve information stress when studying a large amount of information and give self-confidence. And neroli oil, which has a camphor-like scent similar to eucalyptus, will help you make a prompt decision in difficult life situations. It not only helps to ensure high concentration of attention, but also relieves stress, improves brain activity, clarifies the mind when overworked, gives confidence and helps make decisions.
Sage oil has a calming and relaxing effect, but it can cause a slight feeling of euphoria, which stimulates the imagination and promotes productive creative work.
Frankincense is an aromatic wood resin used in churches for burning incense. You can buy bits of incense, set it on fire, and fumigate the room in which you work. Frankincense essential oil contains serotonin, one of the main neurotransmitters that can lift your mood and improve your emotional background. Not for nothing is serotonin called the hormone of happiness.
Grapefruit stimulates mental and creative powers.
Patchouli moderately tones, stimulates creative activity. It gives a person courage, determination.
Anise calms, instills optimism, activates mental activity.
Lemon promotes concentration, strengthens memory, increases the accuracy of mental work and increases its speed.
Wormwood has the same properties.
Carnation activates memory, clarifies the mind.
Melisa oil sharpens the mind, strengthens memory, allows you to quickly adapt and make decisions.
Cinnamon awakens fantasy, mind play.
Orange has a calming effect on the central nervous system when overworked. The aroma of the oil improves mood, relieves anxiety, relieves depression, and improves visual acuity. Use this smell when your brain is tired, there is a fear that you do not have time to complete the work on time, but it still needs to be completed.
Leuzea oil helps with headaches, extraordinarily clears thoughts, is a powerful relaxing agent, and stimulates creative activity.
Eucalyptus has a stimulating effect, promotes concentration, has a tonic and refreshing effect on the physical and mental state.
Rosemary strengthens willpower and perseverance in achieving goals. It is used for general weakness, poor concentration, mental exhaustion, headache. And recently, scientists have found that the smell of this plant activates the areas of the brain that are responsible for the speed of thinking and the correctness of conclusions.
Cedar gives clarity to thoughts, eliminates nervousness.
Nutmeg oil enhances brain activity.
How to use essential oils?
There are two basic rules to follow.
First, avoid high concentration of aroma. An overly concentrated aroma is alarming, which can interfere with attention, and even headaches.
Secondly, for the effectiveness of the method of using smells in intellectual work, you need to accustom your brain to a certain smell. That is, for a certain period of time, inhale the same scent every time you start work or study. The brain will simply receive a signal that increased intellectual activity is now needed. For example, every time a workflow begins, you can use the same perfume by applying it to the sleeve of your clothing.
Some smells can be “extracted” directly from the primary sources, and this can be done discreetly and unobtrusively, if you are in public. Orange and lemon can be simply sniffed or sprinkled with juice from the crust right up your nose.
A very effective way is to moisten a handkerchief with a drop of the oil you want. But the dose should be microscopic, see “First”.
In general, any smells affect the work of the brain, make sure that there are no unpleasant smells near your workplace.
Interestingly, many people have favorite scents that can be pleasant and productive. The German poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller could not work without a box of rotten apples standing next to him.
Essential oils, enveloping us with their magic of aromas, immerse us in their wonderful world, giving positive emotions and harmonizing mental activity. Created by nature, subject to the recommended dosages by manufacturers, they unobtrusively accompany and effectively support the human body.