Smriti Tandon: Creating Well-being – The Role of Living Spaces | Doing Well #49

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Smriti Tandon, a Senior Research Fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

In the quest to enhance well-being, the role of living spaces and lifestyle choices becomes paramount. Your surroundings, community interactions, and personal practices like kindness can significantly impact your well-being.

Meet Smriti Tandon

Smriti Tandon is a Senior Research Fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She is pursuing her Ph.D. from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems. She has been exploring multiple aspects of well-being ethnographically and reflecting on how well-being is a common thread connecting humanity in the pursuit of living a good life. 

Smriti has been working with well-being as a concept for over a decade. The research started as a process of healing herself and as a coping mechanism to overcome the suddenness of her father’s untimely demise. In her quest to understand her own self, the research led her to become an ethnographer, a writer, a friend to reach out to, and a wellbeing coach. 

This topic will reflect on how everyone needs to create and nurture well-being and how, in your everyday lives, the mundane and the ordinary play a role in ensuring that your lived reality and your living spaces are all in sync. 

About the episode

Well-being encompasses various facets of your lives, including emotional, social, and physical aspects. It’s about nurturing your joy, just like nurturing a child and finding joy in simplicity. The journey towards well-being involves daily practices, mindfulness, and gratitude towards life’s abundance. Understanding that well-being is not a constant but a continuous effort toward balance and happiness is crucial.

According to Smitri, living spaces are physical locations and environments where social interactions and culture thrive. These spaces are alive, nurturing relationships and providing a sense of security and belonging. From a sociological perspective, living space is more than just its aesthetic appeal; it’s about the connections and safety it provides to its inhabitants. Accessibility, sustainability, and inclusivity are vital to living spaces conducive to well-being.

She also shared that human beings are inherently social. Your need for community and social interactions is also vital for your well-being. Communities provide support, validation, and a sense of belonging, essential for coping with life’s challenges and celebrating its joys. Privacy, while important, should not lead to isolation. 

Instead, fostering strong social bonds and creating gathering spaces where individuals can be themselves is crucial for enhancing well-being.

Smriti shared that performing acts of kindness is one simple yet powerful practice to enhance well-being. Whether towards strangers or loved ones, it positively impacts both the giver and the receiver. Smiling, expressing gratitude, and offering support are small gestures that can significantly enhance one’s mood and overall sense of well-being. 

Additionally, being mindful of your eating habits and striving towards sustainability can further improve your well-being and that of the planet.

In conclusion

Well-being is a multi-faceted concept that extends beyond individual practices, including your living spaces, social connections, and how we interact with your environment. Fostering positive social interactions, creating inclusive and supportive living spaces, and practicing kindness can significantly enhance your well-being and that of those around us. It’s about creating a life that nurtures joy, connection, and sustainability.

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