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What is fear? Fear is not always adaptive. A small amount of fear before an important speech serves a purpose - it encourages you to focus on your topic and avoid making a fool of yourself. This is one of the types of fear that can be useful to sharpen our minds. However, some types of fear that are excessive can become crippling, or even make you feel like escaping when it is not appropriate to do so.

When fear gets out of control, or when we fear something that cannot actually harm us, it can escalate to a point where it effects our daily functioning. Fear is no longer adaptive if we find we are constantly afraid of events that haven't happened yet.

Future-orientated fear is known as anxiety. While fear happens at the moment danger arises, anxiety is characterized by apprehension because we don't know what's going to happen next, and we cannot control upcoming events.

Experiencing an alarm response when there is in fact nothing to be afraid of is known as panic. Many people are familiar with this type of fear and it is often (although not always) accompanied by a phobia.

Panic is an immediate physical response to unrealistic and irrational fears. This can have a huge affect on both your emotional and physical well-being - as well as your ability to reach your full potential.

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