Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Contentment

· Relaxed posture
· Slow easy breathing
· Smiling
· A warm voice, a caring tone
· Crossing the arms over the chest
· Eyes half-closed, a lidded look of satisfaction
· A feeling of connection to life
· Lacing the fingers behind the head
· A wide stance, open demeanor
· Slack muscles, loose limbs, no big or fast movements
· Rolling the neck back and forth and smiling
· (Guys) legs akimbo when sitting, taking up more space than usual
· Looping one’s thumbs into the front pockets while standing
· An easy walk, unhurried
· A wandering gaze, taking in random things
· A satisfied sigh…

Win your readers’ hearts by tailoring your character’s emotional responses so they’re compelling, credible, and realistic.

If you struggle with writing emotions like so many writers do, you’ll be happy to know that this sample has been expanded into book form. The full list of physical, internal, and mental cues for this and 74 other emotions can be found in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. For more information on this bestselling book and where it can be found, please visit our bookstore.

And the news gets better: we’ve added 15 entries to this collection, including grief, lust, and self-loathing. To access these, simply visit our online library at One Stop For Writers. There, you’ll find all 90 entries from our popular Emotion Thesaurus, which have been updated and enhanced to provide even greater value. Users also enjoy the flexibility of cross-referenced material for easy searchability across all of our completed thesaurus collections. Interested in viewing a sample? Register for free at One Stop, and see what this innovative online library can do for your storytelling.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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6 Responses to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Contentment

  1. Angela says:

    That’s a good point tho, Marian–they way superheros and the like are shown, it’s kind of, “Look at me–I’m a MAN!”

    Sadly it is still raining here…

  2. beth says:

    Great list! Thanks!

  3. Mary Witzl says:

    We had at least one month of solid rain; everything was mossy or moldy and every slug in the garden was so fat I could hardly stand it. Now we finally have sun and even though I’m not a sun worshipper, I’m content.

    Sadly, we also have biting insects…

  4. Marian says:

    I used to wonder why guys sat like that, with their legs akimbo. Finally I decided it might have something to do with virility – you know, the way superheroes are often drawn standing with their legs apart, thumbs tucked into their belts in such a way as to subtly emphasize the crotch region? It didn’t occur to me that it could be a sign of simple relaxation as well. Me with my mind in the gutter. 🙂

  5. Angela says:

    Sit in the garden? *cries* It’s pouring rain here!

  6. Mary Witzl says:

    Oh, I could use some of this!

    I think I’ll take a deep, satisfied breath and go sit in the garden.

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