An anxiolytic is an intervention that is designed to reduce anxiety. Medications used for this are psychoactive in nature and are referred to anxiotropics that are sometimes referred to as minor tranquilizers. This was to differentiate them from the "major" tranquilizers such as the neuroleptics or antipsychotics.
Examples of anxiolytic medications include Xanax and Valium. Anxiolytics are not only medications. Light therapy is also sometimes effective in the treatment of anxiety. Alcohol, while feeling like an anxiolytic at first, can later become an anxiogenic (anxiety causing) substance.