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An exothermic reaction shifts toward the formation of products because the products are at a lower energy level than the reactants. The universe naturally wants to gravitate to the lowest energy level and the most chaos through entropy. Because of this the decomposition of a complex (high energy) molecule to a simple (low energy) molecule is readily seen. An example of this is the propensity for complex hydrocarbons to be combusted quickly into carbon dioxide and water but the reverse isn't true. Such a reaction would give off heat as it is broken down hence the term "exothermic"
An exothermic reaction tends to make products since the energy of the products are lower than the energy of the reactants (hence the release of energy). Since it's more favorable to be at a lower energy state, the reaction will often be spontaneous and make products. However, in regards to equilibrium, let's imagine that heat was added to the system. According to Le' Chatelier's Principle, chemical reactions adjust so as to minimize the effect of changes. This means that when we add heat, the reaction will want to counter that by expending energy, meaning that it would go in the reverse reaction (the endothermic reaction).
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