Scent has amazing powers over your mood and stress levels. Essential oils such as ylang ylang, peppermint and lavender have been shown to reduce stress perception. But because you’re a Royal, ordinary scented candles won’t do. Try an exquisite perfume that reminds you of spring in Marseilles (Hermes’ 24 Faubourg), vineyards in Tuscany (Annick Goutal’s Eau d’Hadrien), old-world markets in Morocco (Baccarat Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebes) or summer blooms on Martha’s Vineyard (Clive Christian No. 1 for women). Spritz, inhale, relax, repeat.
Chocolate, that is. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidant flavonoids that help blood vessels relax, among other health benefits. A study by Swiss and German researchers showed that eating about an ounce and a half a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones, partly by correcting stress-related biochemical imbalances. Choose the very best—Pacari Chocolate from Ecuador, 70% raw and organic. It won the gold award in the 2012 International Chocolate Awards and is a finalist for 2013. Find it at Whole Foods and at igourmet.com.
Gaze at the View
Royals likely have a stunning—or at least interesting—vista from their window. Taking a long look can broaden your perspective, making your mile-long to-do list feel less daunting. In a study from the University of Washington in Seattle, office employees who feasted their eyes on a natural setting had calmer heart rates than those who saw a digital display of nature or no view at all. If your setting is an urban jungle, bring nature inside with a beautiful lemon balm, peace lily, or hearty English ivy.
The right phrasing captures chaos and makes it putty in your hands. Instead of saying “I’m stressed,” try “I have stress.” It makes tension a type of commodity that you can control, rather than a demon that has you by the throat. People with an “internal locus” of control tend to feel happier, freer, less stressed, and more satisfied with life in general than people who are at the mercy of outside forces. Similarly, change “I should” to “I choose to…” because you have a choice—you’re the top brass here, after all.