The Power of a Lifestyle Change
What is a lifestyle? Simply put, it is a description of a unique way of living, behaving, and thinking. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous book, The Case of Miss R. With the implied meaning of “the basic nature of a person as established at a very young age.” Adler believed that each human being possesses a pre-set “lifestyle,” and that these traits can be changed by prompting them with appropriate, positive suggestions.
Within the field of counselling, the concept of a lifestyle became known as the LIFESTYLE theory. According to the LIFESTYLE theory, people are generally receptive to suggestion, but, in doing so, they become addicted to the source of the change. For example, if the source of change is increasing social activity, more people in a given society will be actively involved in such activity. If the source of the change is increased leisure time, more people will be interested in leisure time activities. Adler believed that, if an addiction to any one thing existed in a person, it would be easy to trigger the same response in another person and, if this happened repeatedly, it would create a new LIFESTYLE pattern in each person, for everyone.
Adler’s LIFESTYLE theory is not limited to the application to personal growth and development. In today’s culture, a great many changes to a person’s lifestyle have occurred, for the most part, as a result of societal pressures. Changing one’s Lifestyle may involve, for example, the decision to become more physically active, an increased awareness of proper diet, or learning a new recreational skill. A more healthy lifestyle may consist of a greater participation in sport and other physical activities. All these lifestyle changes are motivated by the desire to find a healthy balance between the present life and a healthy LIFESTYLE pattern.
In addition to his work on LIFESTYLE, Jean Merton also explored the role of social media in creating and sustaining a healthy Lifestyle. In his book The Social Internet (Penguin Press, 2008), he examined the many ways in which he could cultivate a healthy Lifestyle through social media, blogs and the like. He believed that, through the use of social media, a person could increase his or her Lifestyle Content by increasing the number of positive experiences that he or she had rather than creating a “healthy” Lifestyle by having a few negative ones. The social media in particular should be used as a tool, not as a source of entertainment.
Adler, in his own words, believes that the lifestyle should be a “self-directed” practice. The only way to lead a truly Lifestyle is to choose it yourself. Many lifestyle change efforts focus on changing an individual’s diet and exercise regime. Lifestyle changes, such as veganism, do not require this kind of commitment and can be achieved by making small lifestyle adjustments on a day-to-day basis. For Adler, there is nothing wrong with this as long as these lifestyle changes are done for a purpose and with a true desire to live a truly healthy and fulfilling life.
As with most lifestyle change efforts, there will be some form of interruption, inconvenience or disorientation that will occur during the course of LIFESTYLE. However, most experts would agree that even this minimal inconvenience should not be viewed as a problem. Rather, it should be seen as the opportunity for an individual to experience what it is like to live a truly healthy and fulfilling life. Changing a Lifestyle, for most people, can be a truly life-altering experience. If you have not yet experienced the joys of LIFESTYLE, you should do so! Start your online search today and discover the power and possibilities of living a life of wellness and abundance.