I confess that I don't watch a lot of TV.

But my partner is very fond of one show called The Dog Whisperer. She used to tell me about the show before I had watched it.

She used to say how this man was able to train untrainable dogs - not by changing the dogs - but by changing the owners! It wasn't the dogs that were the problem it was more the owners.

So how does that relate to stress management?

Well, I will tell you a little story about a workshop my company ran last year.

A lot of the training I do involves nature and being outdoors. So part of this training day was spent in a venue and the other part was in a beautiful woods in the Pennines, UK.

We had taught the group how to meditate and some breathing exercises and techniques. We then went outdoors. While I did some one-on-one coaching with each individual, my partner taught the rest of the group tai chi and qigong.

What occurred next amazed the group...

A little robin appeared and started to hop between people's legs and feet. Some people found this a little too much (one person wasn't so fond of birds...) but others were amazed. They had never seen a bird come so close and to be so relaxed.

And the group started to see that because they were relaxed and feeling really peaceful, so the robin felt that way. Instead of feeling intimidated by everyone, the robin felt calm and relaxed too. And so it acted that way.

And this is what Cesar Millan teaches in The Dog Whisperer. If the owner is calm and assertive, then this is what their dog is like.

If the owner is angry or fearful, well, they project this onto the dog and the dog becomes angry and fearful, and attacks other people or dogs.

So if you have animals, notice how you are around them, or notice how they are around you. If animals run away from you - it is time to step outside and go for a walk - balance yourself.

If animals bark at you - do some breathing exercises to calm yourself down.

This scenario also works with humans - look at what you are giving out. If you are always angry and shout at people, well, this is what you get back. It's not nice is it?

By taking charge of your own emotions and for how you feel - you start to take responsibility for your life. And the difference is amazing. People react differently and life suddenly becomes full of joy instead of stress. Pretty good eh?

Take care of yourself and be well,

Piers Cross