The vagus nerve controls your heart and digestive tract…it’s the one that gives you palpitations and butterflies in the stomach. It gets you hot under the collar, makes you dry of throat, short of breath and gives you the urge to gag. All symptoms of fear, the classic fight or flight response, but eerily the same symptoms you get when you fall in love too. It all ties in with music performance too as any singer who steps out on to a stage might tell you.
A nice piece in The Guardian reiterates the point and offers clues as to how one might take back control of those symptoms and put one’s performance anxiety to good use to sing, sing, sing!