The limbic system is responsible for controlling emotions. It’s located inside your brain, and is made up of a complex set of structures. All together these structures cover both sides of your brain and make you feel the way you do. They all work together to build memory of emotions, responses to emotions and regulate the intensity of our emotions.
The parts of your limbic system
The Hypothalamus structure inside your brain is one that helps to regulate how we feel. It helps you regulate sensations and levels of pleasure as well as reactions to things that anger us. It gets information from all over the body, some nerves tell this part of your brain things like your blood pressure and if your stomach is full by noticing if your gut is currently in motion.
The amygdala are two almond shaped masses full of neurons. This brain structure is in charge of our ‘fight or flight’ response. With incoming information we can decide how to respond to scenarios based on previous experiences and our natural instincts. We may end up displaying drastic emotions like fear or fright resulting in a rush of adrenaline.
The hippocampus structure consists of two small flesh pieces that are attached to the amygdala. This part of your brain is in charge of retaining our memories and sorting them into short term or long term memories. This helps our emotional responses by remembering how we reacted last time, or if this is a completely new experience.
The limbic system controls mostly our intuitive reactions and emotions that we naturally have and have evolved with over time. But it is also responsible for creating and making us make sense of new emotions too. If we learn to control our limbic system, we can learn to control our emotions. Having greater control over our emotions gives us more space mentally to be more productive and embrace each emotion that naturally pops up in a healthy way.
Controlling your limbic system
Ways of controlling your limbic system and emotions can be as simple as meditating or trying a ‘slow living lifestyle’, if you want to simply have a fuller, wider range of emotional responses and be able to control bad emotions.
Or in some cases learning to control your emotions can be done through cognitive behavioural therapy. This is if you feel you have mental health strains like anxiety or depression. Rewiring your brain's responses and emotional behaviours isn’t easy and is not to be taken lightly either. These changes can be for the better, but doing this to somebody else without consent or knowledge is emotional manipulation.