Ever wonder why the thought of giving a talk at work makes you sweat? Panicking before a performance may seem like a major nuisance in the modern world. But it’s all part of the fight-or-flight response, which has hardwired itself into our brains through millions of years of evolution.

When our ancestors on the African savannah confronted a dangerous predator, they needed to be able to charge up and flee as quickly as possible. That’s why our brains developed a way of kickstarting our adrenal glands, upping our heart rate, and allowing us to expend a burst of energy really, really fast.


So, next time the thought of giving your boss a quarterly report makes your stomach twist into knots, don’t feel bad. To your brain, he’s just another hungry lion.