Sam Smith's crippling anxiety

Sam Smith's anxiety still gets the better of him when performing on stage and he admits he gets so nervous he almost has panic attacks.

British star Sam Smith. Picture: @samsmithworld/Instagram.

LONDON – Sam Smith's anxiety almost ruined his performance at the Grammys.

Despite his worldwide success, the 25-year-old singer admitted his nerves still get the better of him when he's performing his "personal" hits and whilst he thought he would have "more control" over his anxiety when on tour, but it consumes him to the point of suffering panic attacks.

He said: "The other night - the opening night, at Sheffield - I was shaking, it's a vulnerable feeling. I thought I would be OK by now but my music is so personal, I feel like an open wound. I am more nervous now than on my first tour. I get massive anxiety. I really struggle, I was so nervous at the Grammys this year. I thought I would be more in control of my body and emotions but I get so nervous, to the point I'm almost having panic attacks."

But the 'Too Good At Goodbyes' singer has people he loves around him to help get him back on track and tell him to stop being a "drama queen".

He told The Sun newspaper: "Sometimes I need people who I love around me to tell me, 'Pull yourself together, you're being a drama queen - it's too much now, Sam, so rein it in'".

After a successful 2017, Sam decided to quit drinking and start meditating to help keep him calm as he embarks on his The Thrill Of it All tour.

He explained: "A lot of The Thrill Of It was about my emotional reaction to fame, there were ups and downs. Burning is about feeling you are not in control. It's about the self-destructive element - I was going out drinking way too much. Of course, you want to celebrate that these amazing things have happened but you can't celebrate all the time.

"I've been completely off the booze for three weeks now. I never want to make promises but being sober is something I'm interested in. When I don't drink and I'm not smoking cigarettes, when I'm completely clean, I feel so focused and happy. My anxiety levels and mental health went through a shaky period at Christmas. But I've started meditating now, I am not drinking, I am trying to look after my mental health."