Why Humans Experience Fear
Why do we experience fear? There are several explanations, and we can’t fully understand them all. In a nutshell, fear is an emotional response to a threat. Our bodies react to the perceived danger by undergoing a series of physical changes. First, the amygdala, a small structure in our brain, is alerted, which in turn triggers a chain of events. Blood flow is affected, making it easier to run or throw a punch. In short, we go into ‘fight-or-flight’ mode.
When faced with a threatening situation, our brains respond by activating various parts of the nervous system. Our heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and our muscles contract in order to fight the danger. Our skin also sweats to cool our bodies. In some people, physical sensations may occur in the arms, legs, or stomach. In some cases, the physical reaction is very mild. When fear occurs, the body responds to the threat in different ways, depending on whether it’s real or imagined.
The brain sends signals to various parts of the body to create a reaction called fear. The responses include increased heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperature. A person may feel sensations in their legs, hands, and stomach. In most cases, these reactions are irrational and unwarranted. The mind has to make up for these responses. For this reason, we can never fully understand the cause of fear.