Sometimes I get a client who does all sorts of cool and useful things in trance but doesn’t “feel like they’ve been hypnotized.” At which point I ask them, “What does hypnosis feel like?”
In a typical session, I ask the client to relax over and over, and if you’re in hypnosis and I ask you to relax, you’re will! So in that moment hypnosis feels like relaxation. If I take you to a happy childhood memory, hypnosis feels like a happy childhood memory, and likely more — more than just remembering it, less than reliving it.
Sometimes people feel that hypnosis should make them unable to see, hear, move, or remember, but being able to see, hear, move, or remember isn’t called “hypnosis,” it’s called “death”! Not the same thing at all.
Hypnosis can be done without sitting still with your eyes closed, and when it’s done that way you have more indicators. I like doing self-hypnosis while taking walks in the woods. I find that one reliable indication of a good trance is that I get a kind of tunnel vision, where my eyes stay focused straight ahead — no scanning of the surroundings unless something draws my attention. And early in the trance I tend to take an involuntary deep breath, which tells me that I’m getting the ball rolling. If I’m in a good trance I also tend to lose the startle reflex. I’ll notice a loud noise, for example, but it doesn’t make me jump.