If bad weather triggers a sort of hibernation in us, sitting at home flipping through newsfeed updates of heartfelt proposal storiesemerald cuts and pavé bands certainly perpetuates those stay-in-bed tendencies. Whether you're single, in a relationship or 'it's complicated', somehow all of these romantic tales and glistening left hands evoke the same feelings. 

Typically, after seeing one too many 'I said yes!' captions, we tend to make our own emotional cocktail: envy, anger, sadness, genuine happiness, faux-happiness (more on that later…), sprinkled with the guilt of experiencing such feelings. Why is it not always easy to be happy for others? We spoke to Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr's trusted life advisor, Suzannah Galland, on why we feel this way and how to manage it. ​

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1) Jealousy

"You love your friends; whether or not it's your best friend, these are people you would never dream of hurting. Yet, here you are, secretly thinking, 'why would she get a ring and not me?!'" Galland explains. "Of course you are going to be jealous. It's the human condition, it's tribal." In this case, the bride-to-be is the alpha-female in your tribe, she's the one being celebrated. Everyone in your circle is undergoing a sort of change in 'tribal' status as she transitions to 'the bride', and you and your friends transition to 'the bridesmaids'. Enter, envy.

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How to manage it: "You are entitled to feel jealous – accept it and embrace it, it's natural," Galland tells us. But then, understand that this is exactly what should be happening in your immediate and extended social circles. Curating your 'tribe', and in turn, your energy circle, is key to moving past jealousy. "It's similar to that fantastic feeling of walking into your home and seeing it beautifully designed and decorated. This is about a life design."​ If you're surrounded by people getting engaged or married, and you want that in your life, be thrilled when your friends tell you they're in love and headed to the altar. "Give yourself a spark of that – that is a conscious clue that you're standing in the same energy – it's going to be your turn next." 

2) Guilt

"Guilt is really about anger, and anger is rooted in loss," says Galland. What you're truly coping with is the loss of what your friendships and social status were before engagement season, when you had girls' nights out and companions with whom to share single-girl cynicism. The guilt arrives with the acknowledgement that you could be doing more to get what you want, and then being envious of those who have achieved it before it's your turn. If you're online and all you see are friends and ex-friends getting something that you want and don't have, which makes you jealous, then get up, unplug and take a good look in the mirror.

How to manage it: Sign off Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for a minute. Make more of an effort to focus on yourself and your relationships. Update your dating profile, buy some new underwear, give yourself a makeover, start taking those kick boxing classes, lose that weight – all of these improvements are saying what you really want and actively putting it out there into the world. 

3) Anger

You can't put your finger on it, but for some reason, seeing this jam-packed newsfeed of diamonds upsets you. Galland explains; "it's territorial. When it comes to friends, past friends, family or an ex, you don't ever want to see them with someone else." Your friends' lives are soon going to be about something other than their friendships (aka you), and underneath it all, that is what's most upsetting.

How to manage it: When we feel guilty or angry, we're going to want to retreat and avoid. "We're not going to want to speak to our friends, and when we do, we are going to find ourselves stressed." If you are in avoidance mode, don't fight it. Stay away from stress with distance. "Send the bride-to-be a gift; a candle set, flowers, a nice note – don't fake it, but at the same time do not neglect her," Galland says. She will never know how you feel and you'll get the time you need to relieve yourself of stress. Do not get carried away and tell your newly engaged friend (or ex) how you feel; "their happiness has nothing to do with you, and your emotional stuff is all your own." If you were engaged, you would never want a friend admitting that they are secretly harbouring anger or resentment about your good news.

4) Sadness

The 'woe is me' struggle is real. Your social feeds are highlighting where you're at and what relationships have meant and mean to you. Whether you're married, in a serious relationship or in a long-term partnership that's getting a bit stale, this friend or acquaintance's happiness is recalling an exciting moment from your past and forcing you to take stock of your own life.  To compensate, we start feigning happiness and excitement, which Galland reprimands as being the worst solution: "faux happiness is devoid of hope".

How to manage it: People naturally look for loss. If you notice, the moment something happens in your life – be it good or bad – the natural reaction is to ask: "are you okay?" Deflect with love and thank them for asking. That hopeless moment when you first spot your ex-boyfriend's fiancée on Facebook or your friend from school's 10-carat stone is when you should say what you are deeply, truly feeling: "I'm so happy for you". With close friends, add on the sentiment, "I cannot wait to tell you when I'm engaged". Put it out there, says Galland, "when all you feel is sick, looking at your friend who's glowing, send her love from your heart, keep wishing her well, because that's what you'll receive back."

5) Stress

Keeping up the act of being happy for your friends is tough, and compounded with the day-to-day stresses of life, this puts you on emotional overload. Any feelings that draw on past experiences, like anger, hopelessness and jealousy, have you resisting the need to "move your present forward". When we're under strain, and reliving these 'past emotions', as Galland calls them, "our breathing becomes erratic, the way we sit becomes erratic, we start to fixate, we get distracted, and we're emotionally incoherent. Even if we are looking to connect, our intuition is off."

How to manage it: Galland's tried-and-true Three-Step Heart Breath breathing technique is designed to combat stress in all its forms, and is a solid way to clear your mind and centre yourself. But then, it's time to get real: all of these feelings, from envy to sadness, are deeply rooted in fear and our desire for control on an inner level. "Having been engaged and married myself, the best gift you can give anyone is the understanding that [combining two families and wedding planning] is hard and stressful. If the bride is overwhelmed or has any doubts at all, she won't feel comfortable voicing them. The truth is, even she doesn't have it all, she's simply at the time of life where she is entitled to feel entitled." The takeaway, according to Galland: "Embrace your friends, it will invite the same support back when it's your turn. Open your heart, give lots of love and let your friends have their moment."

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