I didn't grow up on "b'racha bees" and I know there's a lot I don't know, so I sometimes find myself in a situation where either I know there's a b'racha for something but I don't know it, or I don't know if there's a b'racha but it feels like there ought to be. Let's assume that I need to answer the question "in the moment" and can't wait to go consult a source first (thus, I'm not asking about food, which I can wait to eat, but about other kinds of b'rachot).
In that case, per the halacha should I:
Improvise something and use the b'racha formula, because it's better to thank HKBH properly than improperly?
Improvise something but not use the b'racha formula, to avoid a b'racha l'vateilah?
Say nothing but think thankful thoughts?
And are the two cases different -- knowing the situation calls for a b'racha (but I don't know what it is), versus not knowing if the situation calls for a b'racha?
I will benefit most from sources I can read in English.
This question was prompted by this one.