Getting advice

Getting advice

Listen to someone getting advice from a friend to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Clara: Hi, how are you? I haven't seen you in class for a while.

Ben: Good, thanks. You? 

Clara: Great, as long as I don't think too hard about all the essays I have to write this term!

Ben: Yeah … 

Clara: Hey, are you OK?

Ben: I have to admit, I'm struggling a bit. Maybe even a lot. I've not been sleeping well at all and then I can't concentrate. And all these things are just going around and around in my head.

Clara: Mmm … that doesn't sound good. So, you're sleeping badly and you can't concentrate. Is that all it is, do you think?

Ben: Well, if I'm honest, it's more than that. I'm starting to dread going outside. I find myself worrying about stupid things like what if I forget the way home. Or, what if I go to class thinking it's Monday but actually it's Friday and I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time. It sounds even more stupid when I say it out loud. It took me two hours to leave the house today.

Clara: It doesn't sound stupid at all. It actually sounds a lot like me last year.

Ben: Really? But you're so together!

Clara: I've learned to be, but even I still have bad days. I used to have panic attacks and everything. When you were trying to leave the house today, how did you feel?

Ben: Like I couldn't breathe. And my heart was going way too fast.

Clara: Hmm … that sounds like a panic attack to me.

Ben: I thought I was going to die.

Clara: You'd be surprised how common they are. Loads of people have them, they just don't talk about it.

Ben: How did you get over them?

Clara: I actually talked to a doctor about it, and you should too. But I learned some practical things as well. Though they're easier said than done, and they're going to sound weird, so hear me out, OK?

Ben: OK …

Clara: So, one thing I did was to try to reduce the power of the anxiety and the panic attacks when they came. So – and this may sound strange – at a time when you're feeling safe and OK, you literally do things that make your heart start racing faster and your breathing speed up. Like spinning around on a chair until you're dizzy or hyperventilating so you're short of breath.

Ben: That sounds awful!

Clara: It is, but it means you get used to the symptoms, so they feel less scary. 

Ben: Right. 

Clara: Then you have to deliberately do the things that usually make you feel panic. So, if it's going to class on Monday and being scared you've got the wrong day, on Monday you go to class. If you let the anxiety control you by making you stay at home, it just makes it worse the next time you really do have to go out.

Ben: And what did you do if a panic attack came anyway?

Clara: I had a distraction plan. So, I walked everywhere instead of taking the bus because the exercise helped, but also I did things like count trees or red cars or something. Whatever it was didn't matter, as long as I had something else to focus on.

Ben: I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. I thought … 


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Average: 4.2 (44 votes)

Submitted by YukinonYui on Mon, 12/06/2023 - 09:49


It rarely comes to me to feel anxious, but it does happen when I don't do anything. It gives me spare time to overthink and pushes me into a unstable state of mind.

Submitted by Leena Ahmed on Wed, 31/05/2023 - 13:06


I'm getting nervous when I have to meet new people; I don't know how to start a conversation and being afraid of saying something wrong or dumb.

Submitted by Artyev on Sun, 21/05/2023 - 01:03


I fell nervous when I have to do something that is hard and I can't slove (especially when time is running out). Sometimes it can be on my IT course, or at school lessons.

Submitted by Mohammed_RHANNAM on Thu, 23/03/2023 - 06:07


Thank you for asking this important question,
I am by nature a very calm person, I trained my self on that for years, as a way that enabled me to cope with many life difficulties, like death and shocks, however, my character is a double-edged trait, it is actually very efficient if you aren't a person who internalizes stress, however I am not that one who knows how to channel it all the time. One very powerful thing I learned gained from this character is that the number of stressors that can break my resilience are very low, and that's sounds good till now, but I think calmness has to be mixed with assertiveness in order to create a healthy result to the person.

Submitted by asaakira14 on Mon, 24/10/2022 - 17:35


since the covid pandemia i had had generally anxiety for two years Now i am okey because i dont feel that preasure that makes me fear and worried.And i can control my nervous

Submitted by rehab magdy on Wed, 05/10/2022 - 07:01


Actually, I am mainly anxious about my kids. I want them to be a good ones,to achieve their goals and to live peacfully. I am trying to control my anxies and i will follow some of claras tips.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 23/08/2022 - 05:35


some things make me anxious like not reaching to an appointment on time or not doing a job on time.

Submitted by sweetsandlemon on Wed, 17/08/2022 - 22:32


Well, following on my experience, the fear of failure and disapproval are some of the things that make me feel anxious or nervous. I often stop myself from doing something because I think there is a chance of not doing it correctly or it may not be perfect. I feel ashamed when I make mistakes. At the same time, I know how stupid it is to think that way and I am trying to force myself to overcome the fear of failure by taking risks and challenges. Even though I still find it difficult, I believe that one day I will win this battle and I am close enough!

Submitted by RICYGOBY on Mon, 15/08/2022 - 09:19


Any trouble happens, they make me nervous, even when I had stomachade when my kids were ill for a long time. Anxiety makes me not focus on working, studying. I forget to take care of myself and that feeling goes around and around me all day. Stress is so terrible. Now I am used to trouble, stress. Instead of thinking about trouble all day, I focus on other tasks such as play with my kids, how to cook well and pick up kids to go out. I believe our life is better.

Submitted by julia_bellini on Tue, 24/05/2022 - 21:57


What makes me feel anxious and nervous is when I have to leave the city where I live. I don't like to spend the night out of my house. I don't like to spend the night at my sisters' or daughter's houses, and I always have an excuse when someone invites me to spend the weekend or a few days out.