Lifestyle is the general attitudes, interests, behaviors, and social orientations of a person, community, or nation. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous 1929 book, The Case of Miss R. with the description of the young girl who, after being told that her mother died of consumption, refuses to eat until her father’s funeral is over. This example speaks to the parent’s influence on children’s choices in many aspects of life, from behavior to attitudes to values. This book remains the most influential single volume in the history of modern psychology.
Lifestyle is related to both physical health and psychological health, but it is primarily a mental concept. People live a lifestyle that is supported by their beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions. A healthy lifestyle is one in which negative influences are removed or reduced. A balanced life is one in which all positive influences are active, and in which negative influences are balanced out with supportive and creative activities and interactions. While some health experts argue that a healthy lifestyle is not enough for a successful, satisfying life, many psychologists agree that living a healthy lifestyle is necessary for optimal levels of happiness and fulfillment in a person’s life.
It is important to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes into one’s lifestyle to address stress management, physical and mental health, self-esteem, and relationship well being. Successful lifestyle changes can change your perception of yourself and your world, giving you a whole new feeling and perspective that you did not have before. By making lifestyle changes, you can build a foundation upon which you can grow and flourish for a lifetime.