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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.

Transcripts

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 … 

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Any bad news, such as deaths, accidents and illnesses makes me nervous and anxious.

Many things and situations makes me anxious... Most of the time maybe my expectations... Makes me angry, nervous politicians in my country which expelled younger people abroad; unfair payment /salary/; unfair human behaviour; that situation with that COVID and vaccines, which are "if you" want but you must to work for your salary but you can`t without vaccine... Where is the choice in that case?!?

I got anxious when I think about the future economic situation in my country. Now I'm studying international business management and I'm trying to get a scholarship abroad to get out of my country because I'm dreading having a future in my country..... And sometimes I feel like I'm under a lot of pressure

what make me feel anxious is when I am keep thinking in the future or past in general what make me anxious is overthinking in everything

The things that makes me nervous are for example test of the university, interviews and too when I have to do a training about a specific topic.

I'm also experienced panic attack many time. Most of panic attack related to future.As when I'm gone to give presentation. I feel nervous. My heart rate is very fast and I completely forgot about present situation. I try to escape this situation. Reason for this my low self confidence but since two I improve my self esteem and I proudly say that I'm a man who likes more. I love himself and care about my thinking, work study. Now I don't escape panic attack situation. I filled with positive thinking. And do things which I most like not see who other things.

Well, the things that make me feel anxious are the period that I am waiting for the test result and the time before the test. Before the test, I had numerous things to do such as revising all of the lessons I have studied, remembering the entire knowledge that was printed in the book and the notebook. When I was in the exam room, the phenomenon became worse: it just felt like I was too worried about the test, my heartbeat was really fast, and I couldn't concentrate on anything :(. When I finished the test, it seemed like it would be better IF I WAS PRETTY SURE ABOUT THE RESULT I WOULD RECEIVE. Conversely, if I thought that I did it badly, I would be more and more anxious during the time waiting for my point.
Do you have the same situation as me? (most of the students in the world have it :)))

The fear of failure or non-approval, non-acceptance from others can make me feel nervous or anxious. Human being is a social creation. We all have our unic experiences starting right away from family and school. It starts when a parents punishes a child for his mistakes but don't seem to see or praise his achievements. When child is being compared with others and gradually loses his self-value. What we have been told at home and schools goes a long way for an adult-to-be.

I had many panic attacks during my highschool years and I've learned to overcome it. Knowledge of constant change and attention to my thoughts helped me. Realization of self-worth, being special and great in my own way boosted self-confidence.
A desire to accept my fears and "look into its eyes" decreased level of anxiety. I allowed myself to be scared, it is simply okay. I had a friend to talk to. I still get anxious sometimes and I have sleepless nights, but guess what, I don't worry about it anymore.
So my advice to people who struggle with anxiety or panic attacks is : let your fear be. It's okay to be scared. Accept it. Live it through. Don't pay much attention to it. See it as a temporal condition. Don't fight it. Dont be ashamed of it. Find someone to talk to. You will be fine.

Being nervous seem like a normal routine to me. Though it was long before I realised it. My anxiety rises when I think about the future and the challenges I have to scale through. Also the fear of the kind of father I'm going to be to my kids. But then I learnt to console myself that all is going to be fine. I assure myself I'm doing great and will definitely get it right. "The future will be bright" I would say to myself.

It make me feel anxious when I overthink all things I started and I didn’t finished, all opportunities I have missed and so on. And it make me feel nervous to think in what I am gonna do after my graduation, am I gonna find a good job? Am I gonna get stability in my live? Have I ever gonna help something in the world gets better or am I just gonna be one more gentrified man? Lately I am trying to do not overthink in the future and just focus on the present. I recommend to practice meditation at least twenty minutes per day.

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