Lifestyle is a way of life that a person practices on a daily basis. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his best-seller, The Case of Miss R. to mean “the basic nature of a person as established at childhood”. He believed that the changes in human behavior are mainly caused by the environment a person finds himself in, especially his family, neighborhood, education, work, and so on.
The lifestyle of each individual changes with circumstances and these changes are usually referred to as individualism. A German psychiatrist, Konrad Zaltman, explained it this way: “Lifestyle means the way of life that each man/woman practices. It is not the way of life that others practice but each person chooses for himself”. The book of Zaltman continued, “Each person determines his own patterns of behavior, values, customs, ideas, and experiences”.
The concept of individualism has two implications. It implies that you create your own life and determine your own values and habits. It also implies that the way you lead your life will determine the quality and happiness of your life. It must be both a source of inspiration and a hindrance.
Lifestyle has become an obsession of late. Every magazine, book, and advertisement are trying to tell us what kind of lifestyle we should have. This is because it contributes to the well-being of our economy. If you spend more time leisurely, you save money and you take care of your health. A study made by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that a wealthy individual is usually not happy. On the other hand, if you lead a chaotic and unsteady lifestyle, chances are you are living in anxiety and depression.
But the lifestyle of the average person is influenced by many things, like the kind of job he gets, the social circle he comes into contact with, the kind of residence he lives in, and the educational background he has. Each of these elements affects a person’s lifestyle in different ways. All this results in the person living a life that is not altogether consistent with his true nature. It is like being surrounded by walls that cause you discomfort in every aspect of your life. Thus, you end up living a double life.
Lifestyle can be changed. A person can decide to change his lifestyle for the better and to adopt a new path. However, it takes a conscious effort on his part to do so. The first step is to identify the sources of dissatisfaction in your lifestyle and to find solutions for them. Once you succeed in doing so, you will be able to enjoy your life in a more positive way.
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