Pranayama is one of the easiest and most effective natural remedy for anxiety. When we have rising anxiety, it feels like the mind is running away from us, and it is scary. The mind and the breath are connected — one cannot run away without the other. Breathing is controlled by both the unconscious and the conscious part of the brain. If we are not thinking about our breath, or intentionally changing our breathing patterns (e.g. holding our breath, taking deeper breaths, etc) then it is under unconscious control. As soon as we intentionally change how we naturally breathe, it falls under conscious control. We can always control the breath, and by doing so we effect the mind. As far back as the Upanishads, the connection between the breath and the mind was noted. Calm mind, calm breath. Think about how agitated the breathing becomes when someone is enraged, stricken with grief, frightened, or any other strong emotion that is a “fluctuation of the mind” (Yoga terminology); then compare that to how calm, smooth, deep and slow someone’s breath is when the are in a relaxed state. When the mind is agitated, so is the breath. You can use the breath to calm the mind — consciously slow the breath down and lengthen the exhalation, and eventually the mind will follow by calming down as well.