I recently made up an explanation for why cognitive dissonance is so painful for us. I have known for a long time that trying to reconcile to opposing beliefs is one of the things that drains an enormous amount of our energy.
Information is stored as connections between patterns. For example ,we activate the cluster “dog”, “bite” and many more concepts to create the memory of being bitten by a dog. I think cognitive dissonance is when we have two competing patterns that link the same concepts. To be efficient we want to store only one road instead of two. They compete for ‘funding’ in the form of traffic that use the road each time you activate the memory.
The one gains a slight advantage and then quickly gets most of the traffic. The other becomes disused and overgrown. It uses almost no energy and is not maintained. The energy and space freed up can then be used to find new problems and solve them.
To happiness and beyond!