How does breathing help create new neural pathways in the brain?

Neural pathways in the brain allow information to be stored and recalled. Learning how to ride a bike, remembering childhood memories, and adopting new habits are all made possible through the creation of neural pathways.

Science believed in the past that the human brain only developed until adulthood and that no changes occurred in the brain for the rest of our lives. Research showing that the human brain actually has a plastic quality is relatively new. Our brain is constantly being reshaped depending on our experiences, new knowledge, environmental factors and even traumas. This state of constant improvement and change is called neuroplasticity.

Studies prove that mindful breathing can coordinate electrical activity in areas of the brain associated with learning and concentration. This shows that breathing has a lot more function than just delivering oxygen to the body and brain. Thanks to mindful breathing exercises, we can focus more easily on the present moment and daily responsibilities and regain focus faster when we are distracted. Some studies show deep breathing exercises help recall newly learnt motor skills. We can think of breathing exercises as push-ups for the mind. The stronger the mind muscle gets, the better it can focus.  

Whenever we expose our brain to new knowledge and new experiences such as playing an instrument or learning a language, many new neural pathways are created in the brain. The focusing ability improved with breathing and mindfulness exercises facilitate the formation of these new pathways. Constantly having to form new routes improve our speed of thinking, decision-making abilities, cognitive function, and memory, keeping the brain younger, healthier and more agile.