LIFESTYLE, the shortened form of life style is actually the habits, attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral orientations of a person, a group, or society. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 29th book, The Case of Miss R. The concept was adopted by American psychiatrist, Murray Bowen, as a synonym for personality style. It was later on used in a way that described the entire life experience of a person or group. It is said to have been first used by the Americans during World War I as a means to describe the way soldiers chose to adapt to the different cultural and social influences coming from their home countries.
The LIFESTYLE concept was further applied in the field of public health where it became known as the National Long Term Strategy. The aims of this plan were to create a healthy living environment, promote physical fitness, provide prevention against contagious diseases, and promote healthy relationships between people. As stated by the WHO, “It is important to incorporate the lifestyle of the rural poor into public policies so as to achieve positive trends in the decrease of mortality and improve the health of the rural populations”. Since then, the LIFESTYLE concept has been adapted to many fields, including education, development, health, psychology, sociology, and even business. This has made it a very versatile and accepted concept in many different areas.
The LIFESTYLE concept can be divided into five key areas: general fitness, physiological health, behavior, attitudes and interactions. A general fitness focuses on attaining a normal body weight, maintaining a stable body fat percentage, and maintaining the proper proportion of height and age. This area also takes into consideration the importance of having a reasonable level of energy and doing well in mental and social activities. It is also important for you to be able to adapt your behaviors and attitudes in various situations, which include the way you interact with other people, your capacity to make logical and educated decisions, your ability to organize, and your level of tolerance. Lastly, the physiological health includes issues such as your immunity to diseases, maintaining a high level of energy, maintaining a healthy weight, and achieving and maintaining good physical fitness.
The other categories of LIFESTYLE include attitudes and interactions, which deal with the way you relate with other people. For example, how you feel about your looks or body is an important part of healthy living. However, this does not mean that you should go around looking and dressing in a certain manner to fit in. Your attitude towards other people is equally important. You must accept the fact that you have faults and that you need to take care of them in order to succeed. Having positive interactions with other people, while being aware of their needs, is another part of LIFESTYLE that makes you feel comfortable in your own environment.
There are many facets of LIFESTYLE that are influenced by the theories of the Frankfurt School of sociology and psychology. These include such elements as individualism, collectivism, Ego-centrism, and the concept of mass culture. The work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger also plays an important role in LIFESTYLE, as he critiques the mass culture and suggests that a person can live an extraordinary life, despite being a member of a mass culture. In addition to these, Adorno also examines the role of religion, which he defines as the separation of the self and the external world in Western society.
The aim of the book is to show how the formation of individual lifestyles and the formation of mass cultures are responsible for the increasing levels of anxiety, stress, depression, and apathy throughout the western world. LIFESTYLE also criticizes the reduction of the role of pleasure in life, which it claims is a product of the reduction of the human interaction with the other aspects of reality. In essence, Adornoian theory would argue that people will engage in life only when they experience pleasure, which is only possible when the social life of a community is flourishing and healthy. This could only be possible, according to Adorno, if there is a sense of participation and sociality in everyday life.