Lifestyle is the way of life of a person, a group or even a whole society. It can refer to tangible and intangible factors and it encompasses a lot of things. The kind of lifestyle that you lead can be determined by a lot of factors. You might not even be aware what kind of lifestyle you have today.
The kind of lifestyle that you have is a reflection of your values, your experiences, world view and attitude. It is a way of defining your own self. But you should be aware that not all aspects of your lifestyle are voluntary. You did not make a conscious decision to follow all of the aspects of the way that you lived. Some of those are affected by your environment and other people that surround you. You might not be aware of the influences that these factors have on you, but they are there nevertheless.
Your choice of lifestyle would reflect your views on several important things in life. Your choice of lifestyle could also reflect your view on marriage, religion, politics and other important social issues.
Lifestyle and Health
Your health would depend a great deal on the kind of lifestyle that you have chosen which is why lifestyle choices are very important and should not be taken lightly. It can determine whether a person will be exposed to sickness and other health hazards. It will define whether your immune system will be able to handle all the challenges that it would face. If you choose a lifestyle that ignores all the important qualities of healthy living such as eating right and exercising, then your health will eventually be affected.
It is interesting to note that healthy and unhealthy lifestyle choices can affect later generations. The children of parents who chose to follow a healthy lifestyle are more likely to make that same choice and the same is true with children of parents who choose an unhealthy way of life.
Effects of the Environment on Lifestyle Choices
There are two types of environment that has an impact on your choice of lifestyle and these are natural environment and social. The first one is the actual physical surrounding where you live and the second one are the people and the groups that you interact in your everyday life. Both would have a great impact on the kind of lifestyle that you will choose.
Effects of Technology
Technology has advanced by a great deal in recent years. That has an effect on how we live our lives. The development of technology has negative and positive effects on the lifestyle of people. Technology has made a lot of things easier for us. Because of technology, most people are no longer forced to live vigorously which in the past resulted in the decline of health. At the same time technology also has some negative effects. For example, the development of technology has contributed in the sedentary lifestyle of a lot of people.
Types of Lifestyle
It would be useful for you to know the kind of lifestyle that you have. If you are not satisfied with the way that you live your life then you have to know what kind of lifestyle you have. There are different ways of classifying lifestyles. Here are a few of the more common examples:
- Occupation based
- Political based
- Military based
- Sexual based
- Musical subculture
- Recreation based
- Classifications used in marketing
But going back to an earlier way of classifying lifestyles, there were four that were identified. These four styles were identified by Alfred Adler who was the one who came up with the term “lifestyle”. These are the ruling type, the getting type, the avoiding type and the socially useful type. But that method of classifying lifestyles would not be very useful to the layman. It is easier to define lifestyles according to musical subcultures for example. People who listen to punk music for instance lead a certain lifestyle. They do not simply listen to a certain kind of music, they also dress in a certain manner, some have a kind of diet that they follow and they have their own world view. There are other easier ways of classifying lifestyles.
General lifestyles are the more broad styles of living that we have. Most people who consciously follow certain lifestyle choices would identify with those listed under general lifestyles. Here are some of those:
- Rural lifestyle
- Clothes free
- Communal living
- Groupie lifestyle
Activism as a Lifestyle
Activism is a kind of lifestyle that is focused on starting, stopping or even guiding change in society. Those who follow this kind of lifestyle engage themselves in various activities that are aimed at drawing attention to the case that they are fighting for. The term activism connotes conflict without direct violence, though some modern activists tend to be overly aggressive.
The term activism is very broad and can include people with different world views, but because they are engaged in campaigning for or against social change, they would all fall under the classification. Ideally, those who live an activist lifestyle would dovetail everything in his/her life with the cause.
The Hippie Lifestyle
The hippie lifestyle started in the middle of the 1960s in the United States. The hippie subculture came directly from the Beatniks of the 1950s as evidenced by the fact that the term hippie originally referred to beatniks who moved to New York and San Francisco. But soon hippies developed their own culture. The hippie lifestyle emphasized embracing the sexual revolution, listening to psychedelic rock, the use of drugs like LSD and marijuana.
The hippie lifestyle made such a huge impact on cultures and societies, but eventually people moved on to other things. There are still those who practice the lifestyle though.
Nudism is also known as naturism or clothes-free lifestyle. It is a kind of lifestyle where the practitioners make a point of not wearing any clothes. Its practitioners say that their lifestyle is a way of embracing nature and it is a means of gaining self-respect. They defend their rights of being able to go nude in public or in private. Naturists are often identified with healthy lifestyle choices such as the practice of yoga, veganism, teetotalism and handicrafts.
Communal living is a kind of lifestyle where people who share a common interest live together and share their resources and generally do things together. In some communes the work and even the income are shared as well. The decision making is usually done by a sort of consensus decision-making which means that everyone has a part in it. Contrary to what most people might think, modern communes are no longer the havens of hippies but are well-organized and financially sound cooperatives.
These are just a few of the lifestyles according to the general classification. Don’t be surprised if you cannot classify your own lifestyle based on the lists here. It might be that you lead the more common kind of life where the choices are not as extreme as the examples that we have cited. But it would still help to analyse the way that you live your life and make changes if you see anything that is not healthy or not sound.