Book Review: Stress Diaries by Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh


Book Title: Stress Diaries: From the Eyes of a Therapist
Author: Rachna Khanna Singh

Book Title:
The title of the book ‘Stress Diaries: From the Eyes of a Therapist‘ is informative and helpful.

Book Cover:
The cover image of the book is a rope entangled haphazardly depicting a person’s mind in a stressful situation.

About the author
Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh is an acclaimed lifestyle and relationship expert, and a practicing therapist with an experience of over 20 years. She has worked extensively in the clinical set-up with reputed hospitals, such as Fortis Escorts and Dharamshila Hospital, and currently heads the Department of Holistic Medicine and Counselling at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon. She is also the Founder Director of The Mind and Wellness Studio. Along with her clinical experience, Dr. Singh has worked with over 250 leading corporate houses and over 500 educational institutions across India. Her passion for her work is also evident in her writings and regular features which appear in various national newspapers and magazines. Often appearing as a relationship expert on Ishq FM, 104.8, Dr. Singh has a tremendous following on social media, and has also featured as the relationship expert in MTV’s Love School.

Dr. Singh lives in Delhi and is the proud mother of a daughter who plays for the Indian football team.

About the book:

An interactive self-help book, Stress Diaries narrates real-life stories of people’s struggles in their work environment and relationships, and how they eventually overcame these with the help of therapy. Inspiring us to hope and fight, this is a must-read for everyone who is working or about to work.

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My review:
As we all know, Stress is a natural thing of not being able to cope with specific demands and events. However, it can also become fatal and a chronic condition not managed well. Nowadays a lot of articles and tools for dealing with stress management have popped up. Did anyone think if there was stress during the olden days? How did people use stress management? Also, did they ever use such tools? For this, one of the standard answers we get from our elders is ‘ lifestyle changes ‘. How much ever we try to deny it happens to be the root cause.

Due to the effects of globalization, our lifestyles, food changes, cultural changes, and relationships have taken new shapes. This resulted in a lack of discipline or in simple terms we run out of time. When sometimes people shrug off looking at the lifestyle of a person who does according to the clock, it is indeed a proven fact that timeliness in doing anything helps to maintain mental and physical health intact.

In this book, Stress Diaries by Rachna Khanna Singh explains many commonly found problems that have an ill effect on a person’s life with the help of her interactions with her clients. As we know, a therapist is a person who journeys with you during difficult times in your life and remains hopeful for change through the therapy process. Here, the author being a therapist and a counselor, shares some real-time incidents in the book.
In the first chapter, she explains about how challenges in work lead to routine life changes that result in bad consequences. She takes an example of a young man working in the corporate, a successful employee, and a hard-working person who slowly gets on to the ladder of professional success with promotions and incentives that takes a toll on his lifestyle. The person who was once a regular fitness person slowly becomes a couch potato due to a lack of time to spend on himself. After her interaction with him during the therapy sessions, she gives out to him certain time tables which will give him good results. There she explains the Rosenberg self-esteem scale because her client Anurag loses his self -confidence due to over-weight and stress he developed. She explains the benefits of such tools that will help him revive the lost dynamic qualities.

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The next chapter talks about Anger Management. Anger is an emotional response when looking at an obstruction in reaching our target. Anger in humans is a generally expressed emotion, bringing about negative emotions, fear, and insecurity. Our emotions, hidden fears, disappointments, dark childhood memories, etc., often make a person angry and moody. As age grows up, with the outer stress adding up, the mental condition of the person will definitely worsen. Such is the case of Madhav, who was a victim of anger and good results after being counseled by the author. It is not a one day program which made him a mentally healthy person but lots pf sessions and hard work from him also helped in achieving fruitful results. In the following chapters, Rachna Khanna Singh explains very vividly in a simple language how the working style of employees in shift systems has had ill effects on a person on a whole. To achieve a good work-life balance, a clear mind, good habits, and strong dedication is what is prescribed.

One of the main issues that are dealt with by almost every individual irrespective of gender, occupation, and age is sexual harassment. Here, a known type but a very detailed case is explained. The author also gives many self-help tools to the victims to create self-confidence and destroy the self-pity because of such unfortunate incidents.

Similarly, the issues of couples facing communication and compatibility issues due to the lack of understanding of their priorities and responsibilities are well explained. Also, she explains the reasons for marriages going into tantrums and why married people choose partners out of the relationship. And the most existing issue every middle-class person faces is the inability to cope up with a financial crisis. False status and comparison is the key to such mishaps in life. This is also seen mostly from the individuals coming from small cities to large cities to work, the imbalance they face due to differences in cost and standards of living. I know a couple who killed themselves leaving two small kids, during the 2007 global recession because they were unable to pay the loans and EMIs taken to maintain a luxury lifestyle because they were afraid of being socially boycotted.

Overall, few things like lack of people to share feelings and emotions,  gaps in communication between family and relatives, living in an illusion, lack of confidence, and many more are the reasons for the virus called stress in everyone’s life. Thanks to the author Rachna Ji for bringing out this self-help book. The book inside has flyers, tables, and such tools to understand and deal with the stress.

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The narrative is from the author herself that speaks about various experiences she had with her clients who have been the prey to a dangerous invisible traitor called ‘ Stress ‘.

Language & Grammar:
The language used in the book is very clear and easily can be understood by a reader of any age.

My Final Verdict:
A very well researched and articulated book on stress management

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This book review first appeared in Storizen Magazine May 2020 Issue.