The sympathetic system is designed to get you through difficult times by preparing your body for action. The parasympathetic is designed to compensate for this. After the urgency, it helps your body to return to normal. It calms, conserves energy and helps your body to heal. That is the autonomic nervous system. The relaxation techniques and meditation help you to relax and unwind. They reserve many of the negative effects of stress and they boost your immune system.
The main cause why anxiety could be hard to be tackled is because when our sympathetic system works, there are special chemicals that our organism produces and it is quite probable that after a long period of an anxiety state, our body gets addicted to them. Therefore this makes it almost an addiction for our organism. Then it is very crucial for us to boost our parasympathetic system, so that we can return our organism to its normal, not alarmed state and compensate for the over-function of the sympathetic one which is guided by a conscious or not perception that we are holding.
A very easy, well-known and practical way to control anxiety is by slowing down our breathing once we have identified the signals of our anxiety kicking off; Might be a thought pattern, might be physical symptoms, might be particular people or places we visit, we just need to pay attention.
It is such a commitment, though, because we can be very unaware of the signals or we may feel discouraged enough. The good news is that it works! And it is worthwhile to try it out!
Of course, I would not like to imply that this is the therapy of the anxiety, this is all about our higher quality of life and our day-to-day functionality. The anxiety needs to be tracked by the very root of it by revealing the inner place inside which creates the perception of: "Things are not going to be OK". This can be a place inside that has been judged too much, or has been traumatized, or humiliated and so on....By finding the place we know how to support our selves in that very moment of the discovery. We can show up and say to that place that now things have changed and things can be OK again. Otherwise, you can always combat the symptoms but your organism , will find another way to show you that you need to pay more attention.
I know there are always people who would support the perception that they function much better under stress and they may well use it as a motivation, but it is not a healthy one. According to Martin Seligman a negative mood activates a battle-stations mode of thinking: the order of the day is to focus on what is wrong and then eliminate it. A positive mood, in contrast, buoys people into a way of thinking that is creative, tolerant, constructive, generous, undefensive and lateral.
We only create the preconditions for healing by having a willingness to see things as they are and by the anxiety-filter, the reality is never seen for what it is.