There are two forms of cocooning, one is mild, the other extreme. Cocooning is a terms used to describe the body language which shows others that we wish not to be bothered. I outlined a method previously that my wife employs while out shopping where she wears a set of headphones to tell others she isn’t interested in socializing. Another form of cocooning happens while in deep concentration, while studying for example, or while working at a cubicle. This posture occurs by placing both elbows on the table and drawing the hands up to the forehead so as to put “the blinders up.” The intention of the blinders is to tell others that we are under stress and are trying to block out the rest of the world so we can deal private matters.
Extreme cocooning on the other hand, is a complete shut down posture where the head collapses onto the thighs while in a seated position. The posture is a form of self hugging as the arms are drawn in and the legs are held together tightly. We see this form of cocooning only rarely as it is due to extreme circumstances such as deaths of close relatives or massive natural disasters where houses and villages are destroyed. The aim of the posture is to completely close off external pressures and internalize what has just happened.