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Fear

The function of fear is to keep us safe. It is automatically triggered when we are in danger, activating differences responses as action tendencies (running away), physiology (increased heart rate), attention (focus to danger) and then cognitions (I need help).
Although fear is a very helpful and adaptive emotion it can also be maladaptive. As human beings we were designed by evolution to memorize very weel all the bad experiences in life. In terms of evolution, having fast responses helped us to survive. That´s why is better to respond to something that maybe dangerous than doing nothing. Unfortunately, automatic evaluations are not too precisely and fear can be triggered by stimulus that are not really dangerous to us.
Anxiety and fear are interconnected. Generally, scientists define fear when the stymulus that triggers the emotion is present and anxiety when the stymulus is not there yet, when we think about something that can happen in the future. 
We can also feel fear as a secondary emotion. For example, we can feel fear of feeling shame and fear of feeling anger. 

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