Watering Your Gratitude Garden

Hi, I’m Dr. Carolee Johnson. Today I would like to show you a technique that I learned at the HeartMath Institute, and I use it to do what I call ‘Watering My Gratitude Garden’. When I was suffering with anxiety, I had a hard time with the negativity and the catastrophic thinking, and the “what if” factor. So I learned this technique… The first thing in the morning is the time when people have the most anxiety, and they think, “Oh no, what’s going to happen today?” And then they go into that catastrophic “what if” mode of thinking, which is terrible, and it becomes a habit.

So what I learned to do is put my hand over my diaphragm and I would just breathe into that hand, all the way in. Relax. And I would arrange my facial muscles into a smile, which automatically changes the way your brain reacts, and so it gives you a sense of well-being and peace first thing in the morning. Okay, so you’re breathing into that hand with a smile on your face, and sometimes you feel kind of ridiculous laying there just smiling for no reason, but it actually does work. Breathe into that hand and smile!

Once you have that sense of peace and well-being moving through your body, it changes the endorphins in your brain, and the neurotransmitters are more at peace. Next think about, “What am I grateful for today? What do I appreciate?” I’m starting to water my gratitude garden. Any little thing you can think of – particularly things about yourself that you like, because it helps with self-love and many people need that. And so you think, “I am glad that the sun rises in the mornings. It feels good; that light makes me feel good.” “I appreciate the roof over my head. I love my kids.” Anything that comes to mind. “I’m glad I’m still alive. I appreciate my family. I love the flowers that are blooming outside my door. The sky is blue, I like blue.” You know, any little thing that waters your gratitude garden. What is it that you appreciate?

Then, once you are there, you can start to change those negative things in your life, the ones that you woke up thinking about. Change your breathing from your diaphragm to your heart. So now it’s almost like I’m breathing right into my heart. I learned this at HeartMath too. Instead of breathing in through your sinuses or your mouth, you’re thinking, “I’m breathing in through my heart.” It gives you a sense of your heart and what’s in your heart. Instead of some fear or anxiety that’s there, I’m going to think of something that I’m really, truly grateful for, that I feel true appreciation for, and I’m going to bring that gratitude into that fear field.

So normally I feel anxious and afraid when I wake up in the morning, so now I’m going to replace that with gratitude. It works a little bit like the tapping method. Even though I have this anxiety in my heart, I truly, deeply, and completely love and accept myself anyway. Bringing that gratitude into that field over the top of that anxiety, starts to replace that anxiety with gratitude and that sense of peace and well-being that you have brought into your field.

This was one of the techniques that I used to overcome anxiety. I know that anxiety can be a terrible thing. It almost becomes a habit to wake up in the morning and do that catastrophic thinking of “Oh no, the world is scary,” or, “God is scary,” or, “People are scary and I can’t go out and face my day. It’s too hard.” This type of technique, bringing that gratitude and that sense of peace, raising those neurotransmitters and endorphin levels, really helps to start to shift that anxiety into gratitude thinking to where you can start to handle your days better and things start to improve. If you need help with anxiety, go ahead and email me at carolee@quantumtechniques.com. I hope you have a great day!


About Dr. Carolee Johnson N.D., M.H.

Carolee Johnson, N.D., M.H. has been practicing in the field of natural health since 1998. She holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Health. She was trained as a Master Herbalist by the School of Natural Healing. She was trained in Holistic Iridology by Dr. David J. Pesek. Carolee also holds certifications in Sclerology, Lymphology, and Live Nutrition. She is a Certified Emotion Code Practitioner. Carolee has hosted several live food events with world renowned Russian born author and raw foodist Victoria Boutenko, and has taught many how to regain a good measure of health using hot and cold water, herbs and live nutrition. Thanks to Quantum Techniques she feels she can do a much more complete job in healing. My Personal Testimony: I struggled with my health nearly all my life. After giving birth to my last child, my health completely failed, and the future looked grim. I started working with natural healing after going to doctors and finding that they could do nothing for me. I cured myself of uternine turmors with herbs, live nutrition, hydrotherapy, clean air and sunshine. I also strengthened my ailing heart and kidneys the same way. However, I never regained my strenth and vitality until I met an angel straight out of heaven named Beth Daniel... and then my fortune changed! Quantum Techniques allowed me to find the underlying cause to the constant fatigue and the kidney and heart trouble that never would completely heal. When I came to Quantum Techniques for treatment, I was much too thin and still very weak. I had already tried everything else including other alternative methods and raw food. These natural methods were very helpful, but something was definitely missing. Being able to find the underlying causes made all the difference in regaining complete health and strength, and getting back to normal weight. I was also able to finally rest from the constant bouts of anxiety that had plagued me. Now instead of lying in bed feeling weak and miserable and scared, I enjoy hiking and swimming in natural hot springs with my husband and children, and running a cattle ranch on the desert's modern wild west along the old Pony Express Trail.


  1. Virginia Reeves

    Carolee – this is a delightful exercise. I like the smiling and breathing through your heart. I’ve printed out several copies to share with friends. One goes to a niece in prison, she likes to share helpful ideas like this.

    • Hi Virginia – I am so glad you are benefiting from this information! It has helped me so much. I am very pleased to know that you are giving it to so many; that is wonderful! I hope you will continue to bless as many as possible with it.
      Take care, Carolee

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