Building Personal Resilience – Chris Gabbitas’s Story

Stress is something that we will all feel from time to time, but some events may cause one person huge amounts of stress where others are unaffected. Your stress may be the fear of failure like many business executives, students or sports professionals or it may be the intense pressure of looking after a loved one 24/7 that is wearing you down.

In the workplace a recent study by Towers Watson found that one in three workers in the UK are in danger of burnout.  This explains why office workers now take more sick leave as a result of stress than acute illnesses. Is this really a surprise?  After all, we live in a fast-paced world where many of us have multiple commitments.

Whatever the trigger, there are ways in which you can deal with stress as it’s actually happening, you just need the right strategies to manage the situation.

Recently I started working with Chris Gabbitas, Baritone with The King’s Singers.  Performing over 120 concerts each year worldwide, the sextet travel for 7 months of the year and as a result Chris has been suffering from a lack of sleep, nutrition and exercise. When Chris and I started talking he was keen to find a better approach to working life, managing his busy schedule in a way that would also allow time to focus on his own wellbeing.

As part of the coaching programme, I introduced Chris to HeartMath, which is a science based approach to stress resilience that uses simple and practical techniques as well as technology to show individuals how to reduce stress and enhance their performance and productivity.

Stress responses are like habits and learning how to practice the techniques allows you to retrain your body into establishing healthy habits and over-riding those that cause you problems.

As a singer Chris already recognised the importance of monitoring his breathing, but hadn’t thought about how this could be used as a stress response and with the supporting technology he could accurately measure results and see the improvements being made.

After a few weeks Chris reported that by introducing HeartMath to his daily routine he was able to deal with pressure situations in a more relaxed and positive way. This in turn helped him to stay in control of situations and led to better decision-making. 

The HeartMath methods genuinely raise people’s performance and sense of wellbeing, equipping them with skills they can easily apply to every aspect of their life. And it’s quick to learn; typically the techniques can be mastered in a few one-hour coaching sessions.

Let’s face it; most of us are trying to sustain a fast paced lifestyle, but those pot holes will keep catching us out every now and again. But by using HeartMath we can deal with the inevitable stresses and keep our focus for the things that really matter. 

Chris continues to use resilience methods at work and at home and believes the power of breathing and the logic of HeartMath has helped him achieve a better work-life-balance.  

For more information on HeartMath and my various coaching courses please contact me at


If you want to check up on what Chris and The Kings Singers are up to, visit their website: