Here’s a fascinating study of 700 people asked to record what happened in different parts of their bodies when they experienced different emotions.
You’ve probably come across the idea of embodied cognition and embodied metaphors (briefly, we now know there are neural networks around the hollow organs of the body, especially the heart and the intestines, revealing that we don’t do all our cognitive work inside our skulls! and that metaphors like “heart broken”, “heart to heart”, “gut feeling” and so on, demonstrate how we experience the whole world through our whole being – body and mind)
This particular study is a self-reported one – it does not show physiological body changes, rather a representation of what people say they experience subjectively. Look at the beautiful summary image they produced –
How well does this show the shutdown experience of depression, the fist clenching of anger, the whole body experience of happiness, the links between anxiety and fear, or between shame and disgust, or between envy and contempt?
Another thing that strikes me about this is the degree to which the shutting down in depression is focused in the limbs – which makes me wonder about the links we are discovering about the healing power of exercise.