Aromatherapy 4 Learning, Studying, Tests & Exams
A teacher wrote in and asked about using aromatherapy in school with children in class, to aid learning, lessen stress, and in tests and exam situations, which essential oils work best and which blends.
Here are my recommendations for using aromatherapy in learning and remembering for children; and also an additional article on which essential oils to use for mature students to improve studying, learning, memory and recall of the studied materials for tests and exams, and even, later on in life should they ever need to remember beyond the exam.
Mary writes: I am a teacher and I have experimented with some aromatherapy in the classroom. I am interested to know what essential oils or blends to use as room spray or diffusers for students to benefit the most from. Both for focus during daily routine learning and studying as well for calm focus during test taking. Thank you for your time and knowledge!
Traditionally, Rosemary and Basil are advised for studying.
I personally find Cardamom and Hyssop very refreshing, especially in summer; in the winter, something warming like Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Sandalwood might be more appropriate to create the perfect ambience for relaxed learning and studying, or test taking.
Being flexible with the subjects matched to the essential oil, and using the essential oils with regards of what is going on in the classroom, to lift it, to calm it, to wake it up or slow it down is probably going to be much more effective to produce stunning results.
You could have a lot of fun with this, and write up your results and experiences with aromatherapy in the classroom. I bet a lot of people would find that most interesting.
Although the above is perfectly correct, as an adult or mature student you can do a lot more with aromatherapy essential oils because you're only dealing with you.
In the above article, I've left out the outrageously expensive oils, and those which are challenging to the noses of children in school, but which many adults come to love and drink in with extreme delight. Must be the blue cheese factor, somehow adults develop a sense of taste and smell that is distinctly different from young children ...
If you want to use aromatherapy essential oils for better concentration, better learning and studying, but also importantly, for better recall of the studied material in the test situation, I would advise you firstly to ask yourself what do you need to do better.
Are you stressed and afraid of failure?
Then you need to start with something soothing, something to release the stress and make you feel loved and comforted.
My favourites for this are any of the big trees - pine, sandalwood, rosewood, cedar, bay.
Use those FIRST and before you even open your books or turn on your computer to put you into a better mood, take your stress down and let you breathe more freely.
Now, you want to apply something uplifting and awakening - something bright and clear, like eucalyptus, myrtle, rosemary and the like.
That should get you going.
Now, for each subject you study, or each core part of each subject, find one particular scent that will be related directly to that subject, and which, when taken into the test environment on a handkerchief, will help you to re-call the studied material.
As you go down the tree of subsections you are studying, add an oil to identify each one. That gives you a totally unique scent anchor that will SIGNIFICANTLY improve your recall in the test situation when you breathe that exact scent in again (make a note of what you used if what you're learning about is very complicated and has many sub-sections for later use, including in the hard, should you ever actually really need to USE the knowledge gained in your studies, many years later!).
If you are unsure, why not visit an aromatherapist for a consultation; they have lots of oils and you can try many different kinds out until you have the combinations you need for your course of study. This is very powerful stuff; scent is the only sense directly routed to the reptilian brain and if you anchor scent to learning, facts and topics, I can guarantee you you will remember more and be much, MUCH less stressed in the exam room.
During studying and learning, if your attention starts to wander, go back to the uplifting menthol scents, but don't abuse this. People who try to "cram" always do themselves more harm than good. When you get mentally tired, stop and do something else for a time, rest, eat, drink, sleep, watch TV, learn in pulses at your best which is what gives you the best retention and the best results, much, MUCH better results that keep driving yourself crazy over extended periods of time. Learn SMART, not with a sledge hammer, our brains despise that!
The neat thing about using aromatherapy for learning, studying and under test conditions is that you don't have to believe in it. YOU don't have to do anything once you've chosen your essential oils and blends that you use all the time other than BREATHE DEEPLY and in through the nose, and out through the mouth.
The stress relief alone is priceless, and you'll be amazed how it affects your abilities to learn faster, and remember better, and even, to see the bigger picture of what you're studying, rather than drowning in a sea of details you're trying to remember like a hopeless parrot!
As always, aromatherapy essential oils and how they affect us is totally fascinating, priceless, a gift for life, and that's a fact!
Here's to your success in your studying and learning, and your test taking,