What Is a Healthy Lifestyle?
What Is a Healthy Lifestyle?
LIFESTYLE refers to the different lifestyles that are considered typical for a person. In his famous book, The Case of Miss R, German psychiatrist and psychologist Alfred Adler had the word Lifestyle in his title with a broader meaning of “the traditions, attitudes, and behaviors of the people”. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist and philosopher Kurt Goldstein in his 1929 work, The Case of Miss R. This was a reflection of the prevailing trend in Western psychological thought at the time, which was to look at a person’s behavior patterns as representing their basic attitudes and perspectives. From this perspective, a person could be regarded as possessing a certain set of values and behaviors.
Lifestyle has become one of the most popular categories of psychology. There are several reasons for this. One is that it covers a range of possible attitudes, behaviors, and choices people may hold. Another is that a person can only be judged as having a healthy lifestyle if they fit within the framework of the Lifestyle model, which has four different elements: active, balanced, passive, and safe. In addition, the model can also include some elements of spirituality or other life experiences.
According to Theory of Human Lifestyles, Lifestyle represents the common practices, institutions, and social boundaries that all human beings have come to take for granted. Adorno and Hill point out several difficulties faced by humans when trying to integrate their lives with these cultural norms. This includes but is not limited to, difficulty in making meanings and definitions that are meaningful under the Lifestyle framework, conflict over the definitions and importance of some behaviors, and a sense of subjectivity that are absent in the mainstream Lifestyle literature. The theories of Adorno and Hill were deeply influenced by the Frankfurt School and they apply many of their key concepts to the study of Lifestyle.
Adorno’s major thesis is that our personal identities are defined by our relations to the concrete objects and experiences we encounter during our daily lives. Thus, he believed that our lives only exist in so far as they are shaped by these concrete factors and experiences. Our identities, however, are nothing but a way of describing the concrete reality of our existence and these relationships to these factors. This means that although the particulars of each individual’s existence may be radically different, the general character of Lifestyle is common. In his view, this is what he meant by being an empirical object.
According to Hill, however, Lifestyle can be seen as the product of the mass culture industry that dominates our everyday life and that dominates our thoughts as well. He saw Lifestyle as an ideology, a set of ideas, which are purposed to help people achieve what they wish for while benefiting from a system of values, institutions, and practices that are deeply-rooted in the culture industry. Adorno further went on to say that Lifestyle, unlike traditionalism, is not motivated by need but rather by self-interest. In fact, he saw it as the ideology of the masses, which seeks to justify the existing conditions of life by creating a myth, a “Lifestyle,” which is superior to the old conditions.
But what is a healthy lifestyle, if it is not merely a variation of an existing condition? And, more importantly, why must people accept a Lifestyle that, in its most basic form, would be to simply accept the differences between their personal identity and that of the masses? The real issue here, therefore, is not how to choose a healthy lifestyle but rather how to avoid accepting a lifestyle which is not healthy, and which prevents individuals from living out their full potential. By understanding the source of the problem, it becomes possible to see how a healthy Lifestyle can be introduced into the lives of individuals and begin to remedy the problems inherent in unhealthy lifestyle.