Living a Life With Happiness – A Guide to Lifestyle
Lifestyle is a general description of a person’s attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and cultural orientations. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous 1929 book, The Case of Miss R. With the implication of a “person’s core nature as established early on”. It was intended to be a synonym for personality. However, over time it has come to be used in much more specific contexts, including a description of a particular kind of behavior or attitude. In most cases, however, the word refers to an aspect of human life characterized by consistency and repetition.
We can think of this as the basic structure of a person. A model could be an example of a lifestyle. An investment may be a lifestyle, if we take it as an instance of discipline and stability. A business structure could be called such if it conforms to standards and traditions associated with particular businesses.
Most people are familiar with some kind of lifestyle. They have their own sets of values, ways of doing things, traditions and beliefs. Lifestyle, then, is usually thought of as a set of habitual patterns of behavior that people adopt regardless of circumstances. These may include practices considered essential for the well-being of the individual. People who practice them may, for example, be healthy and spiritually balanced.
Lifestyle is usually associated with personal choices and actions. That is why it is called personal. It can also be called the way of being. There is one problem with this definition: it tends to become self-defeating and even harmful. When a person follows a lifestyle, it may tend to dominate one’s life, becoming an obstacle to achievement and happiness.
In some cases, the opposite is true. Certain kinds of behavior or traditions are essential to a person’s development and growth. This is true, in both cases, with respect to lifestyle. In other words, there are two types of lifestyle: those that create happiness and those which produce unhappiness.
A major problem arises when lifestyles contradict each other. Sometimes, the very practice of certain essential elements of a lifestyle is the cause of unhappiness. Lifestyle, for example, may be characterized by overindulgence in pleasurable activities, such as overeating, gambling and drinking. Such indulgences are often accompanied by procrastination and a lax attitude toward other things, such as commitments to others. Such a lifestyle may also result in stress, a state that, on its own, can create anxiety and emotional problems.
The situation becomes tricky if the indulgent ways of a person do not match up with his commitment to his fellow beings. If he is a heavy gambler, then the person must ensure that his betting limit does not get exceeded. The same principle applies if he is a compulsive drinker. Both must be checked to ensure that the person is not carried away by his vices and is living in accordance with his vow to his fellow beings.
In this way, a person’s lifestyle may at first be the culprit of his happiness or unhappiness. However, as his habits become more aware and his awareness of his surroundings and his fellow beings grows, so too will his aptitude for living a happy and useful life. Lifestyle modification, therefore, need not be the chief factor that determines happiness or unhappiness. It should merely be an additional tool to ensure success in attaining happiness.
A lifestyle that is riddled with excess is often the cause of the most grief. For example, the material comforts that people pursue can often lead to excess in the way of jealousy. This jealousy can turn to outright anger, and there is a good chance that such a volatile temperament may erupt into violence.
On the other hand, a lifestyle that is devoid of action often exhibits a more passive attitude. This means that the person does not bother himself with much. He remains content to observe the world around him without any effort or personal development. Such a lifestyle often leads to a passive, unambitious and inactive personality. Such a person rarely reaches his goals and remains stuck in the quagmire of failure.
Both of these undesirable lifestyles are examples of a lifestyle that results in misery and unhappiness. However, it is possible to live such a lifestyle to a greater degree. There are many aspects of life in which a person can push himself to greater heights. The following tips may help you make some headway towards happiness: