Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Relief

Emotion Relief

When you want to write the emotion relief, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid emotional tells and immerse your readers in your story.

Relief is a positive emotion that is experienced when a person feels a sense of ease, comfort, or freedom from stress, anxiety, or pain. It is often associated with the release of tension or pressure that has been building up, leading to a feeling of lightness or relaxation. Relief can be experienced in a variety of situations, such as when a difficult task has been completed, when a crisis has been averted, or when a long-awaited goal has been achieved. It is a powerful and satisfying emotion that can be used to add depth and realism to fictional characters.

  1. Different Types of Relief
  2. Situations Associated with Relief
  3. Physical Reactions to Relief
  4. Thoughts Associated with Relief
  5. Atmosphere of Relief
  6. Verbs Associated with Relief
  7. Emotions Before Relief
  8. Emotions After Relief
  9. Telling Relief Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Relief
  11. Exercises for Showing Relief

Different Types of Relief

Here are some different types of relief:

  • Relief from physical pain or discomfort
  • Relief from emotional stress or anxiety
  • Relief from a difficult situation or problem
  • Relief from fear or danger
  • Relief from financial burden or hardship
  • Relief from feeling lost or uncertain
  • Relief from guilt or shame
  • Relief from a challenging relationship or conflict

Situations Associated with Relief

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of relief:

  • Overcoming a difficult challenge or obstacle
  • Receiving positive news after a period of uncertainty
  • Escaping a dangerous or threatening situation
  • Finding a lost item or loved one
  • Resolving a conflict or misunderstanding
  • Reaching a significant milestone or achievement
  • Recovering from an illness or injury
  • Returning to a place of safety after being lost or stranded

Physical Reactions to Relief

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing relief might have:

  • Deep sighs and exhales of breath
  • Relaxation of the muscles, especially in the shoulders and face
  • Smiling or even laughing
  • Tears of joy or release
  • Releasing tension in the body, such as shaking hands or feet
  • Breathing more slowly and deeply
  • Stopping or slowing down previously frantic actions
  • Feeling a sense of lightness or weightlessness in the body

Thoughts Associated with Relief

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing relief might have:

  • Finally, it's over.
  • I can breathe a sigh of relief now.
  • Thank goodness for that.
  • I'm so glad it worked out.
  • I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
  • I was worried sick, but now I can relax.
  • I can't believe the tension I was carrying until now.
  • It's a huge relief to know that everything is going to be okay.
  • I can stop holding my breath now.

Atmosphere of Relief

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of relief in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Choose a setting that contrasts with a previous, tense or stressful scene to create a sense of relief in the reader.
  • Use a bright, warm, or inviting atmosphere to create a sense of comfort or safety.
  • Incorporate elements of nature, such as a sunny day or a gentle breeze, to create a peaceful environment.
  • Use descriptions of physical relaxation, such as a character sighing or slumping into a chair, to convey the emotion of relief.
  • Create a sense of accomplishment, such as completing a difficult task, to provide a release from stress or tension.
  • Use dialogue to express a sense of relief, such as a character saying "Finally, it's over," or "I can breathe again."

Verbs Associated with Relief

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of relief:

  • Exhale
  • Release
  • Unburden
  • Relax
  • Unclench
  • Unwind
  • Unload
  • Exonerate
  • Unfetter
  • Discharge
  • Ease
  • Settle
  • Soothe
  • Assuage
  • Alleviate
  • Mitigate
  • Quell
  • Abate
  • Subside

Emotions Before Relief

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences relief:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Uncertainty
  • Apprehension
  • Nervousness
  • Panic
  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Sadness
  • Grief
  • Despair

Emotions After Relief

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences relief:

  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Contentment
  • Relaxation
  • Satisfaction
  • Peace
  • Comfort
  • Joy
  • Euphoria
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Empowerment
  • Renewal
  • Rejuvenation

Telling Relief Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion relief in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • She felt relieved when she finally found the key to the locked door.
  • He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard that the project deadline had been extended.
  • She was relieved that the test was over and she could finally relax.
  • He felt a weight lifted off his shoulders when he confessed his secret to his best friend.
  • She was relieved that her flight was not delayed and she could make it to the wedding on time.
  • He was relieved when he saw the ambulance arrive and knew his friend was going to be okay.
  • She felt relief wash over her when she heard that the surgery had been successful.
  • He was relieved to finally get the job he had been interviewing for.
  • She felt a sense of relief when she realized that her mistake had not caused any harm.

Practical Examples of Showing Relief

Here are some examples of showing relief in a sentence:

  • She let out a long breath she didn't know she'd been holding.
  • The knot in her stomach finally loosened.
  • He sank into the couch cushions, feeling weightless.
  • Her shoulders dropped as the tension drained away.

Exercises for Showing Relief

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing relief:

  • Write a scene where the character has just received good news after a period of uncertainty or stress. Describe their physical reaction, such as the release of tension or a deep exhale, and their thoughts and dialogue as they process the news.
  • Create a character who has just escaped a dangerous situation and is now safe. Show their relief through their behavior, such as trembling or collapsing, and their thoughts as they process the experience.
  • Write a scene where a character has been carrying a secret for a long time and finally decides to confide in someone. Show their relief through their body language and dialogue as they release the burden of the secret.
  • Create a character who has been struggling with a difficult task and finally achieves success. Show their relief through their behavior, such as jumping for joy or crying, and their thoughts as they reflect on the journey.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full thesaurus of emotions.

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.