What is a Lifestyle?
Lifestyle is the attitudes, behaviors, and interests of an individual, family, or group. The word was originated by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 1928 book, The Case of Miss R. with the implied meaning of “the basic nature of a human being as established very early in childhood”. The book’s title came from the fact that Adler would often take cases of children who had disturbed behavior and ask them to describe themselves, thus creating the basis of the concept of the ‘child’s lifestyle’.
A lifestyle is described as an unalterable pattern of values, actions, standards, habits, etc. It is not the same for everyone, but usually consists of some combination of personal norms. For example, some people might value cleanliness and germ-free living practices more than others. These personal traits are considered to be part of their lifestyle. Lifestyles are dynamic and may change according to economic, social, cultural and other environmental factors.
The philosophy of the modern lifestyle is gradually shifting back towards the values held during the enlightenment, including concern for the environment, animal welfare, equity in gender and ethnicity, and anti-racism. As more people become consciously aware of their impact on the global environment, they are also becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on their own daily life and what they consume. This has led to a move away from the western, developed world’s lifestyle of consumption and towards the more sustainable and organic forms of life. A few examples include: vegetarianism, recycling, and living small.