The Iceberg Model (Lite)
Icebergs reveal only about one-tenth of their mass above the water. The remaining nine-tenths are submerged. This is why they are such a nightmare in navigation, and why they make such an appropriate metaphor in considering your state of wellness.
Your current state of health - be it one of disease or of vitality - is just like the tip of the iceberg. This is the apparent part, what shows. If you don’t like it, you can attempt to change it, do things to it, chisel away at an unwanted condition. But whenever you knock some off, like the iceberg, more of the same comes up to take its place.
To discern everything that creates and supports your current state of health, you have to look below the surface. The first level you’ll encounter is the Lifestyle/Behavioral Level - what you eat, how you use and exercise your body, how you relax and let go of stress, and how you safeguard yourself from the hazards around you.
Many of us follow lifestyles that we know are destructive, both to our own wellbeing and to that of our planet. Yet we may feel powerless to change them. To understand why, we must look still deeper, to the Psychological/Motivational Level. Here we find what leads us to a certain way of life. We can learn, for example, what payoffs we get from being overweight, smoking, or driving recklessly, or from eating well, being considerate of others, and getting regular exercise.
Your culture’s norms powerfully affect your daily thoughts and habits - often in subtle or insidious ways. Cultural norms, combined with the long-lasting effects of dysfunctional childhood experiences (e.g., growing up in a family where emotions were suppressed or inappropriately expressed), serve to keep people on automatic, repeating self-destructive patterns for a lifetime. You can break out of these cycles by reevaluating the environment you create around you - friends, workplace, and home - and making appropriate changes.