In sociology, a lifestyle is the way a person lives. The word lifestyle may also refer to:
; Lifestyle (TV channel), a defunct British television station
; Lifestyle (album), an album by the band Silkworm
; LifeStyles Condoms
; Lifestyle (Nelly Furtado album), a 2010 album by Nelly Furtado
; Lifestyle (band)
Way of life" redirects here. For other uses, see Way of life (disambiguation).
Lifestyle is a term to describe the way a person lives, which was originally coined by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler in 1929. The current broader sense of the word dates from 1961. A set of behaviors,
and the senses of self and belonging which these behaviors represent, are collectively used to define a given lifestyle. The term is defined more broadly when used in politics, marketing, and publishing.
A lifestyle is a characteristic bundle of behaviors that makes sense to both others and oneself in a given time and place, including social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions.
 Individual identity
A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual's attitudes, values or worldview. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self
and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. Not all aspects of a lifestyle are entirely voluntaristic. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.
The lines between personal identity and the everyday doings that signal a particular lifestyle become blurred in modern society. For example,
"green lifestyle" means holding beliefs and engaging in activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller carbon footprint), and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities. Some commentators argue that, in modernity, the cornerstone of lifestyle construction is consumption
behavior, which offers the possibility to create and further individualize the self with different products or services that signal different ways of life.
The term lifestyle in politics can often be used in conveying the idea that society be accepting of a variety of different ways of life—from
the perspective that differences among ways of living are superficial, rather than existential. Lifestyle is also sometimes used pejoratively, to mark out some ways of living as elective or voluntary as opposed to others that are considered mainstream, unremarkable, or normative. Within anarchism, lifestylism is the view that an anarchist society can be formed by changing one's own personal activities rather than by engaging in class struggle.
 Advertising and marketing
In business, "lifestyles" provide a means by which advertisers and
marketers endeavor to target and match consumer aspirations with products,
or to create aspirations relevant to new products. Therefore marketers take the patterns of belief and action characteristic of lifestyles and direct them toward expenditure and consumption. These patterns reflect
demographic factors (the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, the
economic levels and so on) that define a group. As a construct that directs people to interact with their worlds as consumers, lifestyles are subject to change by the demands of marketing and technological innovation.
Simple as it may seem
To listen to what抯 deep inside
It is the hardest thing
To let go from the heart what hides
You deserve to listen...
-Susan Herrick, You Deserve
What to Do With Your Feelings
by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist,
Intense emotion can be overwhelming for all of us. And if you're just opening up to an emotion, it can feel very raw. No matter how experienced you are with your emotions, we all need help sometimes to know how to deal with them. Learning to recognize and stay with our feelings is a valuable experience. We can learn that just because we feel something, we don't have to act on it. Or that we can be angry and choose how to respond rather than let the anger control us. The more we know how we feel and ways to feel, release, be with, or let go of our feelings, the better we feel about ourselves.
But how do I know what I'm feeling?
If you don't know how you feel or how to get in touch with your feelings: 1. Identify how you feel:
; Sit quietly for a moment; you might want to close your eyes, and then wait and see
what you notice from inside.
; Notice how different areas of your body feel.
; Focus on the areas of tension, breathe, and see if anything comes to your
awareness. You don抰 have to think about it.
; Notice whether any thoughts, images, feelings, memories, sounds come to you.
; If nothing comes, that抯 okay. You may still want to continue.
; Ask yourself how you're feeling, and be aware of what comes up.
; You don抰 have to figure anything out, just be aware.
; If nothing comes to you, that's okay. Sometimes that happens. You may still want
to try again, another time.
2. Acknowledge your feelings:
; If you know how you feel, let yourself know that this is how you are feeling right
now, and that抯 okay.
; You don抰 have to know where it is coming from.
; You don抰 even have to know what to name it; you may simply know that you
have a lot of pain in your chest.
; Breathe through it.
; Let your feelings just be there.
; You don抰 have to do anything with them, just accept that this is how you feel.
But where do these feelings come from? They just seemed to come out of the blue.
If you want to understand why you feel a certain way:
1. Identify the source of your feelings:
; Know that you are not being "silly" or "crazy" for feeling how you feel; your feelings
are there for a good reason.
; Turn inward, and ask yourself what are these feelings connected to.
; Wait and see what you notice. You might just know. You might remember
something, see an image, hear a sound, notice tension in a particular area of your
; Try not to analyse, interpret or judge what comes to you. Be open to what you
; Go deeper. We may think we already know why we're feeling a certain way, but
sometimes there is more to it than what we think. Being patient and receptive
helps us to go deeper.
; If nothing comes to you, that抯 okay, too. It helps to just let yourself feel.
What do I do with these feelings?
2. Express or release your feelings.
Even if you don't know why you are feeling this way, you can still express yourself in the privacy of your own home.
; Focus on how you feel. Open your mouth and let a sound come from that feeling.
; Move with the feeling. You can dance, stomp around, kick, hit something.
; Scream. If you are worried about the sound, you can scream into a pillow.
; Cry. If you feel like crying, give yourself permission to do this.
; Write or draw from this feeling place. Don抰 censor yourself, let the feeling do the
writing or drawing.
; Say out loud what you need to say to someone.
; Tell someone supportive how you are feeling.
It's too much for me. I can't take it any more. What do I do?
1. Comfort and reassure yourself:
; Talk to yourself as you would a friend. Be gentle and kind.
; Reassure yourself with whatever you need to hear, for example, "I抦 okay, I抦
; Curl up in a comfortable chair/bed with a blanket, a warm drink, a good book, or
watch a show on T.V.
; Do something nice for yourself. Treat yourself to something special, take a bubble
bath, go to a spa, get a massage.
; Talk to a supportive friend. Ask for what you need.
2. Take a break from your feelings:
Sometimes feelings become overwhelming and you need a break from them. This doesn't mean denying that they are there, only that you need a break and will come back to them later when you are rested. After taking a break, it is important to come back to your feelings. They may have changed, and that's okay.
; Create a safe inner place. Let your imagination create an image of something(s)
that represents how you are feeling right now. It may be concrete or abstract. Take
your time, let your imagination develop this fully. Then imagine a protective bubble
around this image, separating yourself from it. Look at the image. Notice that it is
still there, but separate from you. Your feelings are still there, but you are not in
them right now. You have a choice, you don't have to be in your feelings right now.
Let yourself take the break that you need. Taking this break will mean that you will
be better able to deal with them later. You may want to imagine yourself in a safe
place -- any image that you choose.
; Remember times when you felt good. Let yourself relax and get comfortable.
Breathe gently. Remember a time when you felt good, loved or calm. It could be
something that really happened, or something that you create, like being near a
waterfall. Imagine being in this situation or with this person, and feel all of those
pleasant feelings. Feel your body shift from what you were feeling, letting those
feelings go. Let yourself feel more relaxed, comforted or at peace. Stay with this
memory or image until you feel really connected to it.
; Exercise vigorously. This can help you to relax, feel energized, and generally feel
; Do something that relaxes you.
; Do something that absorbs your attention fully. This can help you to shift out of
how you are feeling.
; Get a change of scenery. If you have been at home or in the same room a lot,
maybe you need to get out, even if only for a walk around the block. Change your
patterns. If you always go home after work only to feel stuck in your feelings,
maybe you need to do something different -- go see a concert, a movie, or have
dinner out, something that makes you feel good. Doing things to take care of
yourself alone may be better than going home alone.
It's not always easy to stay with your feelings, but it can be rewarding when you do.
How to Create Positive Emotions In most of the personal growth advice you will read, positive emotions are considered the goal. We think to ourselves, ‘I’m going to do this, this, and this and that will make me happier, more optimistic, and more outgoing.’
And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, there are
many, many different techniques, exercises, and strategies that you can use to achieve those goals.
The best way to achieve those ends would probably elude you though, because it is so simple, most of us don’t even think about it.
It turns out that one of the best ways to build up and create positive emotions is by having positive emotions.
Like most of the really useful techniques and exercises in personal growth, this comes from psychology. The theory is called the Broaden and Build theory, and it’s a fairly simple one.
Negative Emotions Lead to more Negative Emotions
Because of the way our brains are wired up, negative emotions tend to cause restricted, short term survival oriented behavior. For anyone familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, another way to put this would be to
say that negative emotions tend to make us focus on the two bottom levels of the hierarchy, which are:
; Safety needs – safety of our job, of our body, of property, and
our immediate health
; Physiological needs – concern for food, water, sleep, and
The really important thing to understand is that this focus feeds on itself in a positive feedback loop. That means that focusing on negative emotions will make you focus even more on negative emotions, and your focus will slide farther and farther towards the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
It’s a vicious cycle that a lot of people struggle to escape from.
Positive Emotions Lead to more Positive Emotions
The good news though is that positive emotions work in the same way, which is where the broadening and building comes in.
When we experience positive emotions, our brains lose that narrow focus, the horizons of our mind expand, and we experience varied and novel thoughts and actions which encourages us to explore the world.
And just like negative emotions, positive emotions build on themselves. So experiencing positive emotions leads to more positive emotions and an even broader view of everything around us. This build up of positive emotions affects many, many different areas of our lives. Here are just a few examples.
The Benefits of Positive Emotions
The Broaden and Build theory shows that positive emotions build:
; Attention and Focus – When we’re experiencing negative emotions
we tend to ‘miss the forest for the trees’. When we are
experiencing positive emotions, our attention and focus are
broadened and deepened.
; Scope of Cognition – Positive emotions cause us to see more
interconnection in the world, be more flexible in our thinking, and
see more relation and integration in our thoughts and ideas. All
these things add up to a big increase in creative thinking.
; Better Relationships – Unhappy couples tend to interact in
structured, predictable, and rigid ways. In contrast, happy couples
interact in more unpredictable, natural, flowing way. Additionally,
happy couples actually build up a surplus of positive sentiments
for their partner and their marriage. This surplus acts like a
buffer against negative emotions and conflict.
; Resilience to Negative Emotions – Positive emotions actually help
to override negative emotions. It has been shown that “individuals
who express or report higher levels of positive emotion show more
constructive and flexible coping, more abstract and long-term
thinking, and greater emotional distance following stressful
The benefits of positive emotions are clearly varied and extremely substantial. The next thing we need to look at is how to bring more positive emotions into our lives.
4 Ways to Create Positive Emotions
There are many excellent ways to bring positive emotions into our lives. Here are just a few that research has shown to be particularly effective:
Do Relaxation Techniques – Relaxation techniques includes things like meditation, yoga, and muscle relaxation exercises. The primary positive emotion associated with relaxation techniques is contentment. Contentment is particularly good for reversing negative emotions and building resilience to negative emotions.
Find Positive Meaning – Finding positive meaning works in three different ways:
1. Reframing adverse events in a positive light (also called positive
2. Infusing ordinary events with positive value
3. Pursuing and attaining realistic goals
The trick to finding more positive meaning in your life is to just be constantly mindful of it. Evaluate every situation you’re in and try to apply those three ways to find positive meaning. The payoff is that people who find a lot of positive meaning in their lives will experience more of the whole range of positive emotions.
Just Smile – Our brains don’t know the difference between a real smile
and a fake smile, so when you fake a smile, your brain responds in the same way (releases the same ‘happy chemicals’) that it would if your smile had been genuine. So even faking positive emotions can have a real, positive impact.
Do Something you Love – Some of my favorites are playing soccer, reading,
and cooking. These things relax me, make me feel good, and let me forget about the world for awhile. Everyone’s favorites will be different and unique. Make sure you know what your favorites are and make sure they are always close at hand.
Remember that positive emotions are only one half of the equation. Negative emotions can be a serious detriment to any progress you make with positive emotions, so be sure to squash negative emotions as they come and replace them quickly with something more positive
Emotions - How To Understand,
Identify Release Your Emotions.
By Mary Kurus
Copyright Mary Kurus 2002
All Rights Reserved
; What Are Emotions – Feelings?
Different people define emotions in different ways. Some make a distinction between emotions and feelings saying that a feeling is the response part of the emotion and that an emotion includes the situation or experience, the interpretation, the perception, and the response or feeling related to the experience of a particular situation. For the purposes of this article, I use the terms interchangeably.
John D. (Jack) Mayer says, “Emotions operate on many levels. They have a physical aspect as
well as a psychological aspect. Emotions bridge thought, feeling, and action – they operate in
every part of a person, they affect many aspects of a person, and the person affects many aspects of the emotions.”
Dr. Maurice Elias says, “Emotions are human beings’ warning systems as to what is really going on around them. Emotions are our most reliable indicators of how things are going on in our lives. Emotions help keep us on the right track by making sure that we are led by more than the
mental/ intellectual faculties of thought, perception, reason, memory.”
; Why Bother With Emotions:
Emotions control your thinking, behavior and actions. Emotions affect your physical bodies as much as your body affects your feelings and thinking. People who ignore, dismiss, repress or just ventilate their emotions, are setting themselves up for physical illness. Emotions that are not felt and released but buried within the body or in the aura can cause serious illness, including cancer, arthritis, and many types of chronic illnesses. Negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, negativity, frustration and depression cause chemical reactions in your body that are very different from the chemicals released when you feel positive emotions such as happy, content, loved, accepted.
; Belief Systems
Underlying much of our behavior is what is called a belief system. This system within us filters what we see and hear, affecting how we behave in our daily lives. There are many other elements that affect our lives, including past lives and the core issues we come into this life for resolution, but our belief systems in this life have a major effect on what we think and do.
Your belief system affects your perceptions or how you interpret what you see, hear and feel. For example, a person raised by an angry man or woman will view people in the future with beliefs that anger is bad or that it is something to fear. Another example would be someone who is quite intelligent but who has never been encouraged or honored for their intelligence, this person might believe they are stupid. Men raised in conservative societies might have the belief that women who work outside of the home are not as good as those who do not work outside of the home.
It takes a lot of work to look at yourself and identify the beliefs that are affecting your life in a negative manner. However, knowing your beliefs will give you a sound basis for emotional freedom. I do believe that it’s wise to deal with the belief systems before dealing with the identification and release of emotions. First things first!
; Other People, Places, and Things Cannot Change
How You Feel
The only person who can change what you feel is you. A new relationship, a new house, a new car, a new job, these things can momentarily distract you from your feelings, but no other person, no material possession, no activity can remove, release, or change how you feel.
How often do you hear people say things like “when I have enough money, I won’t be afraid