Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Overwhelmed

  • Light-headedness
  • Letting out an uncontrollable cry, sob, or whimper
  • Dropping something, spilling something (slopping tea, dishes chattering together as you carry them)
  • Becoming angry or argumentative
  • Mental numbness
  • A glassy stare, a glazed look
  • Retreating inward
  • Wanting/needing to be alone
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Assuming the fetal position
  • Crumpling onto the floor
  • Waving someone away (hand flapping)
  • Putting the hands over the ears
  • Giving oneself over to tears through anguish or grief…

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Overwhelmed

  1. Pingback: Emotion Thesaurus Entry Collection (Samples) | WRITERS HELPING WRITERSWRITERS HELPING WRITERS

  2. Angela says:

    No Kelly, YOU have good taste in music!!

    Colby, I watch everyone. I’m like Eagle Eye!

    Thanks Rachel. It helps me, too, because it really forces me to think out actions.

  3. Wow. How long does it take you to come up with all these? This is an awesome resource for writers. Thanks for your work!

  4. I agree with pj…are you watching me? 😉 Good post– keep up the good work!

  5. Kelly says:

    Another great entry, Angela!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I noticed you like Life is Beautiful by Sixx Am from your profile. THe video on my blog (Brides of Destruction)is by a band founded by Nikki Sixx! One of my recent Tune for Tuesday blog entries also was by Sixx Am. Love your taste in music!

  6. Angela says:

    Last week? I spy on you 24-7!


  7. PJ Hoover says:

    Were you spying on me last week?

    This is a great one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *