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Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger with strong roots in human evolution. If we didn’t feel fear, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats, which in our ancestral world frequently resulted in life-or-death consequences.
Anxiety, or extreme apprehension and worry, is a normal reaction to stressful situations. In some cases, however, worry becomes excessive or chronic and can cause sufferers to dread everyday situations.
If you have ever told a lie and felt uncomfortable about it because you see yourself as scrupulously honest, then you have likely experienced cognitive dissonance. It occurs when one's ideas, beliefs, or behaviors are contradictory—when a person learns new information that challenges a deeply held belief, for example, or acts in a way that seems to undercut her self-image.