When I'm writing I don't always remember to include the emotional actions the way I should. I often times use the same shrugging or glaring over and over. Even when I go somewhere to people watch I don't always catch the correct emotional action with what they are feeling.
I've sat in many classes where the instructor has tried to teach me this concept, but nothing has really clicked for me. I, however, have found something very helpful. It is called an Emotion Thesaurus. I am in the process of editing my next book and am now using this guide to help me use different emotions instead of the same old thing throughout my book.
Now when someone is angry I'm going to have the character pinch their lips together, and cross their arms instead of just glaring. Instead of shrugging their shoulders they are going to fiddle with a watch, or close their eyes, or turn away. There are so many possibilities that I never thought about. My characters are going to become real people with many actions. Not the same ones over and over.
What things do you do to make your characters real instead of wooden?