The word lifestyle is the general attitudes, interests, behaviors, and behavioral orientations of a person, group, or society. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his widely-read book, The Case of Miss R. with the notion of “person’s basic nature as formed early on”. The book’s core concept – that there is a person’s “Lifestyle” – is thus taken to be something that defines who they are as an individual. In addition, many psychologists think that the meaning of the word has changed over time, with newer associations coming into play (e.g., high status, successful, modern, and so on).
Broadly speaking, Lifestyle can be divided into two main subsets: the Individuation type of lifestyle and the Relational type of lifestyle. Individuation lifestyles tend to result from early experiences in which positive or negative qualities are developed. These include being attentive, caring, sensitive, socially competent, honest, flexible, and environmentally responsible. Relational Lifestyle on the other hand, occurs when people have varying degrees of social interaction, interdependence, competence, and independence. Examples of Relational Lifestyle include suburban or rural families with dynamic parents and active children, rural or urban professionals, or working-class lifestyles.
The benefits of having a healthy lifestyle can be life enhancing, regardless of the type of lifestyle choices a person may choose. For example, healthy lifestyles that occur in the Midwest (i.e., rural or city living) provide opportunities for families to get closer, creating family bonds that last. Healthy lifestyles also provide for greater physical activity, which is especially beneficial for those who do not have access to traditional forms of transportation. Children raised in a healthy lifestyle are more likely to have higher Test scores, attend college, have careers that they enjoy, and are less likely to live with depression or drug abuse.
However, many of the most common causes of death in the United States today – heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are issues that can be addressed by changes in lifestyle. One important lifestyle change is to switch to a “healthy western diet,” consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy products. An entire book on this topic, “The Five Senses of Eating Well,” discusses the importance of diet for improving overall health and happiness. Another important lifestyle change would be to get active. Studies have shown that those who exercise are more satisfied with their lives and report higher levels of well-being than others who have remained sedentary.
There are several types of lifestyles, all of which are rooted in positive lifestyle ideals. Some of these lifestyle choices are more common in one culture than in another. A few examples include: vegetarianism, which are the consumption of plant-based foods; veganism, which is a diet consisting of no animal products; and mindfulness, which involve being fully aware of your physical and emotional responses to everyday life. In the United States, however, these types of lifestyle choices are more common in urban settings, especially among the groups that are considered to be “uneven” by the health care system. Those who are considered to be unhealthy by the American College of Nutrition (ACN) and other industry standards, for example, may choose to focus on a healthier diet and lifestyle. By making simple modifications to their lifestyle, people can lead more healthy lives.
One type of lifestyle that is more common in the United States than in any other country in the world is the “designer” or” minimalist” lifestyle. This type of lifestyle was popularized by the members of the House of Luxury in New York, who consciously choose simpler, less materialistic lifestyle choices and enjoy the rewards. The philosophy of the House of Luxury is simple: live in the present and enjoy the luxury that is available to you. Practitioners of the minimalist lifestyle believe that there is more to life than material abundance, and they seek to make the most of every moment and treat themselves with kindness, affluence and quality.
Another popular lifestyle choice is that of the artist or creator. People who belong to this group often believe that art and creativity are personal acts, undertaken to express their individual creative potential. They are not motivated by an external need to make money. In contrast to the mass culture, they place great value and respect on the role of the artist as a maker of art and are dedicated to promoting his or her work.
A few lifestyle choices are more common in the United States than in other countries; however, most of the world’s cultures, even within the most wealthy countries, have their own versions of what a good lifestyle is. A lifestyle, in general, is defined by two elements – what you do as a person and how you act in response to your environment. In the United States, however, most people believe that the definition of a good lifestyle is living in a rural environment with plenty of natural beauty, and perhaps a strong sense of community. Rural lifestyles, including both farming and urban metropolis lifestyles, are seen as natural sources of personal happiness, peace and happiness, even as essential elements of a satisfying and long-term career. Lifestyle is a philosophy, but it’s a very interesting one.