Nerves can wreak havoc on the enjoyment of singing in performance.
And one of the things we would typically do to make ourselves feel less nervous would be to breathe deeply.
But when we keep taking in huge breaths, then not using or getting rid of all that air, we feel even more wretched – and we feel more likely to faint, because this overbreathing has upset the balance of gases in our bloodstream. So the bad news is, we really are more likely to faint.
When you’re actually onstage it’s probably considered bad form to whip out a paper bag and begin to breathe into it – or even to do alternate nostril breathing.
However, I’ve found that if you can get in a few good sighs, and start moving more as you sing, it should help – as a temporary fix.
If you are a religious person then a moment of prayer during a few bars’ rest can settle you enough to make it bearable. But whatever thoughts normally help to ground you and calm you down are worth training your brain to latch on to when you’re in mental or emotional distress.
The underlying cause of all this will need to be addressed if you’re going to have fun while singing onstage.
What’s really going on is a panic attack – which actually feels like a life threatening event. And as a veteran of those wars I know that these can dog you for years unless you bite the bullet and decide to face up to whatever is terrifying you. The assistance of a good counsellor is really useful.
Here are a couple of other things that really helped me. (Please note that I am not prescribing – just letting you know what worked for me)
1. Getting enough aerobic exercise
2. Eliminating from my diet foods to which I have sensitivities (this was a really important one for me)
3. Meditation, and learning to stay conscious of the present moment – as opposed to constantly pre-living my life, and focusing on some awful thing that might happen in the future.
4. Vitamin B 12 strips, that dissolve on the tongue, or tablets that dissolve under the tongue.
5. Bach Flower Remedies (http://www.bachflower.com/ )