"Neurologically one can change their negative thinking by writing down (pen and paper) positive thoughts at least 27 [times]. That can help build positive connections."
Lynch also stressed the importance of a healthy spirituality. She encouraged Catholics to invite others to pray for peace in the local community and through social media. She also urged people to embrace greater acts of charity.
"My advice would be to make our Catholic faith contagious and choose to positively come against fear and choose to be proactive in promoting hope," she said. "Pray each morning for internal peace and most of all think positive. Remember thinking is believing. The more positive you think, the more you build positive neurological connections in the brain."
"Do acts of kindness such as calling people in your church community to see how they are doing," she added. "The more kind acts we do, the better we feel about ourselves, which will in turn help us to be more proactive in doing more acts of kindness."
Father John Nepil, a theology professor at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, told CNA that in times of anxiety and fear, it is particularly important to embrace the love of God. He said the world's turmoil can be an opportunity for greater conversion.
"We have become convinced as Americans that as long as we're comfortable and healthy, everything is fine. We've [now] realized that there's no guarantee for that, nor is that always in our best interest," he said.
"One of the great mistakes we make as Americans is to think that we're the nice people and that this is just evil people who do these things. I think as Christians, we have to deeply understand ourselves as bound to the actions of our brothers and sisters and responsible for them."
Nepil stressed that racism, like any form of violence, is an inherent violation of human dignity. He encouraged Catholics to offer prayers and penance in reparation for the sins of others, especially those motivated by racial hate.
Above all, the priest said, the current time is one for conversion, and a recognition that we as a society cannot separate ourselves from God and build a perfect utopia.
"We pray for peace and for the end of hatred, but, as I mentioned before, the most important thing is rejecting the godlessness of our own self reliance and learning to depend more on Jesus alone as the salvation of man," he said.
Perry West is a staff writer for Catholic News Agency. He graduated from Franciscan University with his bachelor's in English. Prior to his job at CNA, he worked in construction staffing and coffee.