Body Language Gestures
Body language is a way of communication that uses physical behavior instead of words to express or convey information. These behaviors include facial expressions, posture, gestures, eye movements, touch, and the use of space. Body language can signify many different things, notably honesty, anxiety, relaxation, and attention. When people are anxious, they might shift their weight from one leg to another or hold their breath. These small body cues can either show anxiety or pleasure. For example, when you are about to give a speech and your heart is racing, you might unconsciously cross your arms in front of your chest or keep your back stiff. These unconscious movements usually indicate that you are anxious and trying to control yourself. On the other end of the spectrum is honesty. When someone is being honest, they tend to relax their body language. They might shrug off any attempts to control their posture or movements, opting to let their body speak for them. This happens because when people are honest with themselves, they feel less judged and more okay with who they are.
When you are relaxed, your whole body language will reflect it. You may lean back, uncross your legs, and keep your hands in your lap. This type of body language is often used when you want to put someone at ease or when you are feeling friendly. You may start by displaying relaxed body language when you are attentive. However, you will display more activity soon after by leaning forward and raising your eyebrows slightly. This type of body language shows that you are paying attention to the person speaking and are interested in what they have to say.
What these examples have in common is that they happen automatically without us thinking about it. We constantly use our body language subconsciously to communicate with others and ourselves. In some cases, these gestures can be interpreted negatively (i.e. crossing your arms implies you are defensive) but in most cases, just understanding how our body works can help us communicate better overall.