‘Attention feeds’ – This is how Roberto Assagioli describes a fundamental psychological law.
Assagioli was the founder of Psychosythesis, an approach to counselling and psychotherapy. This law says that paying attention to something is like watering a plant – what we’re watering tends to grow: If it’s a worry, or a fear, or a disappointment… it grows; or if it’s a joy, or a hope or an enthusiasm or a happiness, it grows.
An idea, attended to, becomes more prominent. The same goes for a noisy neighbour or a loud clock or a dripping tap. On the other hand, if we are able to withhold our attention from the drip or the noise or whatever, it will fade away, just as it does when we’re distracted by something else.