How does the body respond to a negative feeling?
The mouth is a major player in this particular drama. A closed mouth is a natural defensive posture – socio-biologists would say it is about preventing anything coming in to the mouth.
Head movement is an important signal – not nodding, or a 'no' shake from side to side, but fast involuntary shakes as an outlet for negative feelings.
Other signs include: twitches of the nose, eyes and mouth; quick changes in the eye gaze direction; a lack of focus or narrowed eyes; a defensive, side-on posture, or head sunk into the neck; a submissive posture, head looking down; tension in the body, seen in stillness or stiffness; shifting the body away from the object being considered.
We talk of being 'deflated' and a sad person can seem as though some of the air has been taken out of them.