Lifestyle is the general attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and personal orientations of a person, group, or society. The word was introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 29th book, The Case of Miss R. with the broader meaning of “the general character of a human being as established at early childhood”. It includes aspects such as personal norms, beliefs, standards, and practices, and has been used to categorize people into groups or categories, depending on their similarities or differences. It also includes some sociological analysis of how such groups or categories might be perceived by others.
Lifestyle has undergone many changes since its inception. Some changes have been organic, resulting from technological or societal development, while others have been the result of external social pressures such as immigration, institutionalized religion, or political parties. The changing needs of individuals within any culture or society have also played a large role in the evolution of lifestyles. These demands, along with the existing structures and relationships of a society, dictate the nature and structure of the lifestyles of the individuals who live within them. Changes in lifestyle, though inevitable, can be managed and altered if an understanding of the lifestyle and the people who lead it is understood.
Lifestyle changes can be organic or social. Organic changes occur through the process of natural selection in which children are selected based on their attributes that are best suited to survive in the society in which they reside. These attributes can be physical, mental, and social. Natural selection is favored in changing lifestyles because individuals who survive the test become dominant in the society, while those who don’t are replaced by members of the other gender or another group.
Social changes occur through socialization, the processes by which individuals learn to fit into the existing patterns of behavior and thought patterns of their society. Those who go against these established patterns are considered freaks by those within their culture. Changes in lifestyle occur when individuals decide to challenge the prevailing lifestyle in one way or another. These changes in lifestyle are often related to disease, the experience of major changes in life such as the death of a significant other, the changing tastes of the general public, or the experience of significant changes in education, employment, and values.
Lifestyle changes occur frequently in today’s society, even when an individual may not think about it consciously. Changing the television watching habits of one’s family, for instance, can have a profound impact on the health of that family. Changing the way one eats can alter one’s weight and eating habits. Changes in one’s clothing style and the necessity of changing work clothes frequently can have an impact on one’s physical and mental well being.
Changing one’s lifestyle is necessary for growth and change. The reason that this is so important is that lifestyle changes occur frequently and thus, so are required for sustained growth and development. This is why, if one desires to live a healthier, happier, and longer life, one must make lifestyle changes on a regular basis. One does not choose to become inactive, so why expect to remain inactive if one desires to continue living a healthy lifestyle? The best way to ensure a lifelong regimen of healthy lifestyle choices is to make lifestyle changes on a regular basis.