Living a Healthy Lifestyle – What Type of Lifestyle Do You Identify With?
Lifestyle is a rather new term being used in psychology. In fact, it was not even coined until a few decades ago. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous 1929 book, The Case of Miss R. This is the term that has stuck. The main thrust of the book is to illustrate how people form their own unique personalities and set of beliefs (and sometimes behaviors) based on their individual experiences and circumstances.
The concept has been around for a long time, but it is only over the last twenty or thirty years that researchers and clinicians have begun to pay more attention to it. It is important to remember however, that any single explanation of human behavior can only be understood if we take into account the combined effects of genetics, experience, and environment. So while it is possible to look at one aspect of a person’s life-style and draw conclusions about his or her behavior, this just cannot be done for all aspects of lifestyle. One can look at one aspect, say bad parenting, say obesity, say stress, and still come up with different descriptions of behavior than Adler’s original model.
The new Lifestyle model emphasizes the importance of exploring multiple lifestyle models. Adler believed that people should have the freedom to choose their own personal identity – their cultural, social, religious, and psychological associations. He also felt that a person should have the right to be self-employed, pursue his or her career without interference from anyone else, be free to travel without following social and cultural norms, and be surrounded by people who share similar values and interests. By extension, one could say that all aspects of life should be embraced as positive aspects of personal life, and not considered as negative influences.
The new Lifestyle incorporates a combination of different lifestyles. It proposes that we live in three “lifestyles”: the “landscape,” the “urban” and the “green.” The purpose of the “landscape” lifestyle is to get you outdoors, and enjoy the various landscapes of our natural world. At the same time, the “urban” lifestyle is all about pursuing an organized, productive existence.
The “green” lifestyle, meanwhile, is closely tied to the concept of ecology. People living in the “green” lifestyle are interested in reducing environmental impact as much as possible. This means living a more environmentally responsible life. For instance, many people living in the “green” lifestyle recycle, compost, use reusable resources such as straw and wood, planted trees for their shade, planted flowers and plants around their homes and other structures, planted gardens, and purchased energy conservation systems such as solar panels and wind turbines. The goal of the “landscape” and “urban” lifestyles is to have sustainable landscapes and low impact urban environments.
I believe that most successful people share these Lifestyle components. In fact, many successful business leaders and athletes share these lifestyles as well. Successful people know how to balance the three lifestyles: they get out of the house, they get healthy, they get social. Most of them also know how to have fun and live the life that they chose. It takes some practice to develop a healthy lifestyle and balance the other two lifestyles. However, once you have mastered these skills you will be able to live the life you truly want, as you experience the amazing benefits of living a healthy lifestyle – no matter what type of Lifestyle you identify with.