Cocooning is a term used to describe the body language which shows others that we wish not to be bothered. We cocoon while in deep thought such as when studying. 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 with 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. We might see self hugging when deaths occur or as the result of massive natural disasters where houses and villages are destroyed. When we cocoon we aim to completely close off external pressures and internalize what has just happened.