Serotonin: The Feel Good Hit for High Status
The most important neurotransmitter connected to status is serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate appetite and sex drive, as well as one’s mood. Individuals with low serotonin levels are often cranky, aggressive, and depressed, which is why they are sometimes prescribed antidepressants designed to boost this neurotransmitter.
Serotonin levels are influenced by genetics and lifestyle factors like stress, sleep, and diet. But one of the biggest factors impacting the amount of serotonin in the brain is whether you think others perceive you as having high status. Serotonin feels good, and whenever we experience boosts in our status, serotonin floods our brain, and we become more confident, relaxed, cooperative, and pro-social. That groovy, connected feeling encourages us to seek more status.