Emotion Thesaurus Entry: EUPHORIA

Source: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, 2nd edition.

DEFINITION: A transcendent state of intense pleasure, happiness, and well-being

PHYSICAL SIGNALS AND BEHAVIORS:

  • Unrestrained smiling or laughter
  • One’s head tipping back and the eyes closing
  • The mouth opening in wonder
  • Eyes going as wide as they can
  • Thrusting the chest out and up
  • Letting out a gasp
  • All tension leaving the body
  • Repeatedly laying a hand on the chest and lightly pressing down
  • Pulling in deep breaths and holding them before releasing them
  • Becoming more affectionate (hugging, touching, etc.)
  • Happy tears and laughter
  • Arms held high above the head in a “Victory V”
  • Jumping and pumping the fists
  • Dropping to one’s knees with the head tipped back
  • Celebrating (flag waving, crushing others in a bear hug, shouting and whooping, etc.)
  • Temporary breathlessness
  • Slurring slightly or drawing out one’s words
  • Spinning around to take everything in
  • Visible gooseflesh; rubbing at the arms and shivering with pleasure
  • Stretching out—lying on the grass with one’s limbs spread wide, for example
  • Rapid speech and declining articulation
  • An instant release of stress (the body going slack)
  • The face and neck flushing with color
  • Grabbing onto the sides of one’s head and tipping it back
  • Changes in the voice (growing higher, taking on a breathless quality, etc.)
  • Holding the arms out to the side, palms up
  • Wrapping one’s arms around oneself and squeezing, to hold the feeling in
  • Interacting more with one’s sensory environment (especially through touch)

INTERNAL SENSATIONS:

  • Weightlessness
  • Warmth infusing the body
  • A tingling surge that starts in one’s head or chest and spreads outward
  • The stomach fluttering
  • A racing heart
  • An expansive feeling in the chest
  • Light-headedness
  • Sunbursts or spots in one’s vision

MENTAL RESPONSES:

  • The mind emptying of all concerns and worries
  • Engaging in mental exploration and daydreaming
  • Stimulated senses (colors, smells, textures, etc. becoming more intense)
  • A feeling of “being carried away” or experiencing a higher state of being
  • The cessation of pain or discomfort
  • Feeling powerful and capable of anything (invincibility)
  • Viewing the world through a lens of serenity and connection

ACUTE OR LONG-TERM RESPONSES FOR THIS EMOTION:

  • Heightened creativity and a sudden desire to express it (via writing, art, etc.)
  • Taking risks due to feeling invincible and powerful
  • Feeling energized and at peace
  • Hallucinations
  • A pleasant sensation of dizziness
  • The belief that everything in one’s life has aligned, and one will be taken care of
  • Seeking to share the experience with others and feel more deeply connected
  • An increased capacity for empathy, compassion, and altruism
  • Being more likely to take time to notice beauty in all forms

SIGNS THAT THIS EMOTION IS BEING SUPPRESSED:

  • Flinching or jumping slightly
  • A sharp intake of breath
  • Losing track of what one was doing or saying
  • Turning away to hide one’s joyful smile
  • A smile that keeps creeping back onto one’s face
  • Losing track of the conversation
  • Making excuses: Sorry, I felt light-headed for a minute, or Can you repeat what you just said?

MAY ESCALATE TO: Awe

MAY DE-ESCALATE TO: Elation, Satisfaction, Connectedness, Moved

ASSOCIATED POWER VERBS: Bask, bathe, captivate, climb, comfort, dazzle, drift, elate, enthrall, fill, float, flood, infuse, inhale, intoxicate, leap, mesmerize, overflow, peak, radiate, rapture, reap, seep, share, shine, soak, soar, sweep, tremble, weep, welcome

WRITER’S TIP: Whenever you are using thoughts to show the character reflecting on what they feel, make sure the language you use fits their voice, age, worldview, education, and life experience.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) is a one-of-a-kind resource that helps writers brainstorm stronger, more compelling descriptions of emotion. Visit this link to view the list of 130 emotions included in this book.

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One Response to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: EUPHORIA

  1. Enjoy this sample entry and happy writing!