Breathing exercises for anxiety and adrenaline: what is it and where does it come from?

Information sheets designed by a CAMHS nurse at Livewell Southwest.

Adrenaline is a stress hormone that is produced by your body as part of your ‘fight or flight’ response to feelings of fear, panic and the unknown. When there’s a fire in a building, you would trigger the fire alarm to alert everyone that there’s danger and they need to evacuate the building to be safe – well that exactly what happens in your body. Your brain receives what is thought to be a threat and activates the body’s alarm systems, where adrenaline is released from your adrenal glands into your blood. A CAMHS nurse, from Livewell Southwest has created a worksheet to help explain to young people what goes on inside when a person is worried or anxious.

Breathing Exercises for Anxiety


Breathing exercises can be extremely useful when you’ve experienced a stressful encounter, have thoughts keeping you up at night, feel anxious or overwhelmed because they can help you to relax and alleviate those feelings by taking the time to simply just breath. Box breathing and Body Scan are two technics which can be used for steadying your breathing.

A CAMHS nurse from Livewell Southwest has produced this information sheet, with input from a young person, to help people who struggle with anxiety, following feedback that general literature and handouts were hard for young people to engage with. By developing a document that is easy to follow, creative and colourful, we’ve given people the ability to really connect to what we’re saying and use our knowledge to help themselves when they feel overwhelmed and anxious in life.