LIFESTYLE is used to refer to any of the various psychological perspectives that deal with a person’s behavior and attitudes toward his environment, other people, and even time periods within a personal’s life. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous book, The Case of Miss R. With the implied meaning of “a child’s basic nature as established early on”. In more modern times, however, LIFESTYLE is often used as a synonym for ambivalence or reluctantism. It can be used in place of a persons’ lifelong allegiance or predisposition towards any given activity or attitude.
The word “lifesty” first enters into dictionaries around the same time as Adler’s book, The Case of Miss R. As time goes on, however, the meaning of LIFESTYLE varies between writers and the cultures and social milieu in which they live. In some ways, this shift in meaning has mirrored the movement away from the cultured, intellectual, and highly structured society of the modern era – towards more open and communally engaged individuals more closely resembling the “back-to-the-land” movement.
LIFESTYLE presents a rather simplistic portrait of healthy living. Rather than stressing the importance of physical exercise, good diet, adequate sleep, and regular moderate-to-varying activity levels; the belief is that the key to a happy and productive life lies in achieving a balance of all these components. Thus, rather than seeking to control weight or shape gender, goals, and appearance, LIFESTYLE encourages healthy living with a focus on well-being. The idea is that a balance between the body, mind, and spirit is essential to happiness and fulfillment, and that healthy living can promote long-term well-being.
Most people who want to lose weight, for example, will typically set aside time each day to evaluate and monitor their behaviors and food choices. If these are not changed, then they continue their unhealthy lifestyle. LIFESTYLE, on the other hand, stresses the importance of change – specifically, lifestyle changes. Rather than being a simple diet, LIFESTYLE encourages individuals to make permanent lifestyle changes, such as increased physical exercise, eating healthy foods, quitting smoking, quitting alcohol, quitting drugs, stopping consumption of tobacco, and other habits and activities.
One reason why LIFESTYLE has been embraced by the media, and the Western world more generally, is because it is different from traditional, doctor-prescribed, short-term or quick-fix therapies. Traditional medicine tends to treat ailments symptomatically (as opposed to treating them “naturally”). LIFESTYLE goes beyond mere symptom control, treating illnesses as causes rather than symptoms, as stated by Alfred Adler, a world-renowned psychologist. Adler’s concepts are a major influence on the thinking of thousands of health professionals and scientists who are leading the fight against lifestyle diseases. It is, therefore, no wonder that LIFESTYLE and its related techniques have become so popular in the last few decades.
Another important factor in LIFESTYLE’s success is that it promotes healthy living and habits. Practitioners of LIFESTYLE believe that living a lifestyle that is healthy and fulfilling is more important than cutting a few pounds or shedding a few bad habits. In fact, these “habits” can cause or prolong major health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc. And yet, many people still cling to old habits (or worse, old medications) in order to cope with minor health problems, such as a scratch or cut. LIFESTYLE provides an alternative to coping with such problems. Instead of spending money and time to treat the problem, LIFESTYLE allows you to go on living your life without any major lifestyle changes.