What are the keys to living a long and healthy life? What are the keys to happiness? How do you achieve the keys to all of this? Lifestyle and behavior represent two fundamentally different concepts. Lifestyle is your overall attitudes, interests, behaviors, and social orientations. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 29th book, The Case of Miss R, with the more literal meaning of “the basic nature of a human being as established at birth”.
This is what we call a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle is an ever-evolving concept influenced by ever newer discoveries about human psychology, sociology, and history. The research into the causes and treatments of complex diseases like cancer and heart disease has influenced the definition of lifestyles over time. Lifestyle therefore has taken on a more encompassing definition encompassing not only general patterns of healthy living but also the specific choices people make in their own lives.
When people talk about lifestyle content, they usually refer to that which affects an individual’s physiological and psychological makeup. A typical definition of this word is “an interest in maintaining ones physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being through their life experience”. It has been postulated by many experts that people who value and maintain their physical health through exercise and a balanced diet, for example, are more likely to have a long term positive outlook and greater self-awareness. Individuals who value and maintain their mental health through consistent meditation practice are less prone to depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. The social media has also spawned a whole new vocabulary of online and offline behaviors that some would classify as “lifestyle content”. Dating as an activity many people engage in regularly is now commonly referred to as Internet dating, while social media chat rooms are regularly called bulletin boards or forums.
In light of the fact that lifestyle content is so broad, there are some experts who have suggested keeping the word lifestyle a bit narrow. This was suggested by Alfred Adler, a world renowned professional psychologist and professor at the University of Michigan. According to Adler, “The word lifestyle is so vague, you could have any number of things that are practiced in your life…it just depends what you are doing.” For example, Adler points out that although some may call their religious practices religious, many others could be considered “spiritual”. The same could be said for a person’s diet and exercise routine.
As it turns out, in the case of Alfred Adler, “lifestyle” is used to refer to a certain way of behaving, while “diet” is used to focus on particular types of food, like the cabbage soup diet. When considering the state of modern day American culture, which seems to continually move away from the beliefs and customs of its past, the words “lifestyle” and “adler” may seem outdated, as they did to previous generations. This is why the Florence Knoll, founded by Alfred Adler almost eighty years ago is still relevant today. Adler believed that by creating a forum where people from all walks of life could come together to talk about their problems, the world would be a better place.
In this respect, the Florence Knoll follows a long line of wellness centers that have existed. However, unlike other wellness centers, such as detox or colonics, the Florence Knoll takes a more therapeutic approach. While the center does not strictly focus on a specific lifestyle or diet, the chefs there create dishes that are in line with the holistic principals that the center promotes. This includes delicacies like polenta, vegetable salads, and even vegetarian and vegan meals, all created by award winning chefs.