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 … 


Worksheet85.95 KB

Language level


Average: 4.2 (45 votes)
Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.
Profile picture for user Aghaton

Submitted by Aghaton on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 12:29

Hello team, my greatest anxiety is when I do not meet the marks target in my studying. For example, last year when I had a plan to get an A from the subject of bibliographic control and thinks got different when I had B+ Instead

Submitted by fahri on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 04:33

Dear team. From the lesson above. 'Maybe even a lot' Is that the same if he say :' maybe happening many time' ? Is it same meaning or not?? Thank you very much for your answer

Hello fahri,

The phrase here describes how bad the speaker's struggles have been, not how often:

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.

The contrast here is struggling a bit (not such a terrible problem) and maybe even a lot (a serious problem).



The LearnEnglish Team

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this answer. Thanks a lot sir
Hi Fahri, from my perspective about the above lesson, when Ben says "Maybe even a lot' i think he means to express the feeling that he has gone through those panic attacks or the related that he doesn't remember and the even a lot of that feeling.

Submitted by nona nasr on Sat, 13/06/2020 - 19:10

What makes me anxious really that i always think about raising my children probably and accustoming them to healthy habits, also another problem which is I’m struggling a bit in learning English because some times I need to listen more and more to understand because of pronunciation as sometimes not clear to me and that makes me annoyed , also difficulty in achieving my goals gets me nervous sometimes because of not having enough time to realize what I want

Submitted by AMOUGOU Abega … on Thu, 11/06/2020 - 10:22

I have to admit that nervousness and anxiety are part of my life cause by the lack of confidence in every situation i pass throught. sometimes i tremble, but i have already started to get over it by listenning good musics.

Submitted by PoPoChit on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 12:10

Exams, of course! Thinking about future usually make me nervous and so doing the past. Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in the past and I don’t like it.
Profile picture for user rerre

Submitted by rerre on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 01:45

Nowadays I am especially anxious after my salary was reduced during the Covid -19, and it's been hard to make ends meet.

Submitted by Pablo Rizo on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 11:02

What makes me nervous or anxious It´s thinking about my future.