Distractions During Mass: Physical and Mental

I believe we have all experienced distractions during Mass. Well “distractions” may mean sitting next to a parent with a crying child or a bunch of gossiping teenagers to some people, but a post I read titled “Mass Confusion” reminded me that these physical sources of distractions are not really the main reasons why we lose our focus during Mass. Distractions during Mass can come from within.

Yes, the people who come to Church inappropriately dressed or those who come marching down the aisles in the middle of the homily may also cause us distractions aside from the things I have mentioned above. More often than not, it is our own worrisome thoughts that really rob us of the beauty of Mass–thoughts of things that ought to be done at home or at work. Intrusive thoughts about the people who have wronged us, thoughts about our goals, desires and most especially our problems. It is these thoughts that really take away our focus from God–this is what keeps us from enjoying the full blessing of the Holy Mass.

Do you have any suggestions about what we can do or what we should not do to be able to handle the distractions we experience during Mass ? Insights are much appreciated.