Why Humans Experience Fear
If you’ve ever wondered why humans experience fear, you’ve come to the right place. The brain’s arc of reaction is one of the keys to mammalian survival. The amygdala triggers a physical reaction that is as strong as the emotional response. This response triggers the nervous system to set up a “fight or flight” response. The fearful expectation can cause the body to change in several ways.
Physiologically, the brain sends signals to the nervous system to react to the threat. This response leads to physical changes in the body, including increased heartbeat and blood pressure. Blood is pumped to the muscles for physical action. Sweating occurs to keep the body cool. Some people may experience sensations in their legs, chest, and stomach. The intensity of these reactions can vary widely, depending on the source of the threat.
The brain is also involved in the response to fear. It activates the adrenal glands, which then secrete hormones that cause physical reactions. Each person’s response to fear is unique, and the biology of fear may be the same as that of other emotions. However, a few common biochemical pathways seem to be responsible for this reaction. Some people enjoy riding extreme rollercoasters, while others avoid them. Regardless of the trigger, the biochemical reaction to fear is similar in all individuals.