Whether it’s a creepy groaning noise that wakes you up from a sound sleep or the thought of losing something important such as the new house you’re negotiating for or, worse, the use of your limbs or eyesight in a violent accident, asking what role fear plays in human beings is like asking what role H2 O plays in the Pacific Ocean. The ocean is water. Most human behaviors are driven by fear.

When confronted by perceived danger, our bodies universally respond in specific ways. The sympathetic nervous system prepares us to take action. We sweat. The adrenal glands pump adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. To ramp up energy and send oxygen to our muscles, our heart rate ...

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