Experiencing relief can be the result of any of a numberof life experiences or situations.  We can express relief over a child’s safety, a spouse not losing a job, finding a new home that fits our budget, a doctor’s diagnosis being better than expected, from pain and much more.


If you have experienced relief, perhaps you’ll leave a Comment on how you would develop a character experiencing relief.

relief | noun

1. alleviation, ease or deliverance through the removal of pain, distress, oppression, etc.
2. a means or thing that relieves pain, distress, anxiety, etc.
3. money, food or other help given to those in poverty or need. 4. something affording a pleasing change, as from monotony. 5. release from a post of duty, as by the arrival of a substitute or replacement.

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Several times in his childhood my younger brother managed to take my parents to the emergency room.  He had a penchant for hurting himself in many ways:  accidents on his bike, his head meeting a thrown rock, running into a metal type drawer in our dad’s printing business, and then there were the auto accidents.

Our mom’s reaction to each of these incidents was the same — all out panic and fear for the worst and then absolute relief when a physician or emergency room staff member announced that all was OK.  Not a time to take a photo, I have none of her on hand to share but perhaps this one shares the element of relief.

Absolute exhaustion after coming off her adrenalin high to be the mama bear watching over her little boy, mom likely fell into a chair or a bed on arriving back home.

Some types of relief exhibit a jumping and dancing around, letting one’s head fall back, asking someone to repeat what you think you’ve heard, slow smile, covering your mouth with a hand, tears welling up and spilling over, and more.  Take a look at The Emotional Thesaurus and its description over at The Bookshelf Muse for a good resource on emotions.

Descriptive language reflecting relief will include both physical, internal and mental responses as well as cues of acute relief and suppressed relief.

Developing our characters is a lot of work, and for our readers’ sake it is well worth the effort.

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16 thoughts on “Oh, It’s Such a Relief

  1. Sherrey, Thanks for showing us so effectively how to convey relief to our readers with tools like photos, THE EMOTION THESAURUS and our own experience with relief. Nice job!

  2. Love your post here and The Bookshelf Muse and the Emotional Thesaurus. I think our entire nation heaved a huge sigh of relief last night while we watched developments, live, on TV in Boston…. God bless ’em all.

    1. Linda, indeed this past week in Boston and its ultimate ending in the capture of the suspect created a huge sense of relief all across our country. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Relief: it’s such a powerful emotion isn’t it. Thanks Sherrey for this. A mother’s relief must be the strongest I imagine.

    1. Yep, a mother’s relief is strong! And it feels so good sometimes. Recently, our older son (42) was diagnosed with cancer. The relief when his surgery was over and the oncologist declared no further treatment necessary was enormous! 🙂

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