Air Element: Too Much or Too Little

Girl with Ribbons waving in the air

 Denise TS/Getty Images

Air lifts us up to seeing with new eyes. When air is in balance, your mind is free and flexible. You mentally travel and explore, allowing new ideas to widen your horizon.

The air element is expressed through thoughts, currents, and the nervous system. It's associated with synapses firing in the brain, and oxygen flowing into the lungs and bloodstream. This element is about the breath, and seeking inspiration, a word that means "breathing in." Its home territory is the vast mental field, where "thoughts are things" that create the tangible outline of our lives.

Air is one of the four elements -- the others are fire, water, and earth -- and each one is important for your sense of well-being. It's exhilarating to break through old ways of thinking because that sets real external change in motion. Air brings emotional detachment, and that helps you make good decisions. When the air is moving, it makes for lively sociability, and keeps you curious and always learning.

The Air Signs

The Zodiac signs of the air element are:

  • Libra is cardinal air - A sign of clarity, partnering, and artful living
  • Aquarius is fixed air - A sign of ingenuity and rebellion
  • Gemini is mutable air - A sign of verbal fluency, street smarts, and pranks

When There's Too Much

It's hard to feel grounded and in your body. You can be lost with your head in the clouds. You find it hard to tie down your free-floating ideas to tangible, daily effort. Your busy mind keeps you awake with insomnia. You are high-strung with erratic breathing (possibly a smoker). You dissipate your energy by talking, texting, emailing, etc. You feel like you can't organize your thoughts. There's too much static and not enough space or room to breathe.

When There's Too Little

It's hard to see yourself with any objectivity. You're apathetic, bored. You don't see a point to what you're doing.

Ways to Ground Air

  • Don't skip a meal and take time to eat slowly
  • Cut back on caffeine and other stimulants
  • Take a break from the information deluge
  • Turn off your cell phone for a while
  • Give yourself time to wind down before bedtime
  • Steer clear of anxiety-inducing images and news
  • Find healthy ways to burn off nervous energy

Ways to Bring Air Balance Into Your Life

  • Spend some time watching clouds
  • Plant flowers or visit a butterfly garden
  • Fly a kite
  • Spend some time bird watching, draw them to your home
  • Sage your space
  • Open the windows on fresh air days
  • Seek out a high perch with a view to the horizon
  • Breathing meditation (following the breath)
  • Make a wish and blow out a candle
  • Work out, bringing oxygen to the cells
  • Take a beginner's course in something that fascinates you
  • Keep a journal as a tangible record of your thoughts
  • Bring wind chimes into your garden or home

Other Ideas

  • Try Tai Chi or Qigong, two flowy meditative martial art practices
  • Experiment with aromatherapy
  • Experience windsurfing or hang gliding
  • Parachute out of an airplane
  • Making sure you get plenty of time with no set agenda